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Memorial service for murdered British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes

The 30-year-old ‘changed thousands of lives for the better’, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said.

The life of a British embassy worker murdered in Beirut has been remembered at a memorial service in London.

Rebecca Dykes’s “passion, energy and enthusiasm” touched everyone she met, her family said.

The 30-year-old was working in Lebanon as a programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development before her body was found dumped by a motorway in the east of the country’s capital on December 16.

A service in her memory was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London on Monday, attended by family, friends and colleagues.

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Ms Dykes, 30, was found dead in Lebanon in December (Family handout/PA)

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who spoke at the service, said Ms Dykes had been happy in the hours before her death knowing she had secured the future of a project providing social stability to young people across Lebanon.

In a statement released after the service Ms Mordaunt said: “Rebecca changed thousands of lives for the better, and if we judge her life on those achievements, she achieved a lifetime’s worth.”

A fund set up by her family and friends to create a foundation in her name has raised more than £40,000.

Her loved ones hope the charitable fund will help to continue her work supporting refugees, with a particular focus on empowering and preventing violence against women.

They said: “The incredible attendance at her memorial service today is testament to Rebecca’s passion, energy and enthusiasm, which touched everyone she encountered.

“Rebecca loved her work, and we want to ensure that it continues in her name.”

Ms Dykes’s family are planning a series of fundraising events and have a number of places at the Great North Run “for people to run for Rebecca”, who had completed two marathons.

It is believed she had been at a colleague’s leaving party in the Gemmayzeh district of Beirut on the night before she was found dead.

An Uber driver arrested over the killing admitted attempting to rape Ms Dykes before strangling her with a rope, according to local media reports.

Lebanese police traced the suspect after his car was picked up on traffic management CCTV cameras.

Donations to the fund can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rebecca-j-dykes

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