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Yet another murder in Portugal

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Yet another murder in Portugal

Post by christabel on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:10 am

This was no accident, I'm sure my hero soldier son was murdered

Apr 5 2011 James Moncur

THE dad of a Scots soldier who died on holiday in Portugal says his son was murdered.
Black Watch hero Darren Lackie lost his fight for life in an intensive care ward in Faro on Mother's Day.
The 21-year-old's parents, Graham and Helen, of Cupar in Fife, were at his bedside when he passed away.
Local police claimed the 6ft 3in lance corporal, who was on holiday with girlfriend Ashleigh Wilson, banged his head on a pavement after an accidental fall and that "no one else was involved".
But Graham claims the police are covering up his son's death and is demanding a detailed investigation into what happened. He revealed that a toxicology report showed traces of an unusual barbiturate sleeping pill in the young soldiers system.

The report also showed that Darren, who was preparing for a second tour of Afghanistan, had very low alcohol levels and that when he was found, his mobile phone and money were missing.

Graham, a 51-year-old postman, said last night: "My son's death does not add up at all. Hes a big lad who was very streetwise.

"The toxicology report showed he'd only drunk a couple of pints and it was negative for all drugs.

"But it did show up traces of an unusual barbiturate. I asked the doctor what it was and she said it was used as a sleeping pill.

"She then put her hands together at the side of her face and shut her eyes to reinforce the idea of going to sleep."

Fighting back tears, he added: "Darren never ever took drugs and had absolutely no reason to take a sleeping pill.

"He was an exemplary soldier one of the best of his generation and knew that drugs are a one-way ticket out of the Army.

"The only explanation for the barbiturate is that it was put in his drink to either knock him out or slow him down.

"He had a top-of-the-range phone which he really looked after and he always had money in his pocket when £10 would do, he'd have £30.

"But when he was found, the phone and all his money were gone.

"I'm certain he was set up and jumped but the Portuguese police don't want anything to do with it.

"They've got a history for wanting cases closed as soon as possible with no fuss or bother."

Graham said his sons only visible injury was a very slight graze to the forehead but there was another injury behind his left ear as if he'd been struck there, which Graham felt as he cradled his sons head.

He added: "The doctors were of the opinion they weren't consistent with him having fallen down a set of stairs and striking his head.

"There was no injury at the rear of his head, near the crown, where you'd expect one if he'd tumbled over and banged himself."

Darren was found on a pavement in the Algarve resort of Albufeira early on Thursday morning.

He had just taken hairdresser Ashleigh, 21, back to their apartment after she felt unwell and had planned to return to a bar where they had been drinking earlier.

Darren never regained consciousness after he was discovered with just his hotel room key on him.

His pupils were dilated and he was immediately transferred to the intensive care ward, where he was put on a life-support machine.

When Ashleigh was told of the incident, she phoned his family, who immediately booked flights to the resort, which is located on Portugal's southern coast.

Graham and Helen, a 50-year-old nurse, arrived on Friday and were told there was little chance of their son surviving his catastrophic brain injury.

Darren's brothers Ben, 16, and Calvin, 20, remained in Scotland, where they were being supported by other family members.

Darren's parents remained with him over the weekend until he passed away on Sunday morning.

Graham said: "He died a soldier's death. He looked very peaceful and calm and when Helen told him he could go if he wanted, the numbers on the machine suddenly fell away and he left us.

"It also meant we didn't have to switch off his life support."

Darren, a former Bell Baxter High School pupil, was on leave when the tragedy happened. His unit are currently in Germany preparing for their next tour of Afghanistan.

As well as serving there, Darren also saw action in Kenya, the Falklands and Belfast.

The British Army said they will offer every support to his family. A unit padre and a welfare service officer have already made contact and are doing all they can to help.

Darren's CO, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Fenton, paid a glowing to the young man last night.

He said: "It is with deep regret that we learn of the tragic death of L/Cpl Darren Lackie whilst on much-deserved leave in Faro, Portugal.

"In L/Cpl Lackie, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) has lost one of its young rising stars, who had already taken the first steps towards higher rank and greater responsibility. Bright, enthusiastic, brave and entirely professional, he was a very popular member of B Company and the Battalion.

"Lance Corporal Lackie will be very much missed by us all and his many close friends in B Company in particular. He leaves a loving family and girlfriend who are very much in our thoughts and prayers."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in Faro, Portugal. We were informed of this on April 3 and we continue to provide consular assistance."


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Re: Yet another murder in Portugal

Post by christabel on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:11 am

Whoever killed my hero soldier boyfriend tried to drug me too
Apr 6 2011 James Moncur

The girlfriend of tragic Scots soldier Darren Lackie last night demanded a full investigation into his holiday death.
Shattered Ashleigh Wilson fears their drinks were spiked in the hours before her boyfriend was found lying unconscious in a Portuguese resort.
His cash and top-of-the-range mobile phone were missing.
Pretty hairdresser Ashleigh had complained of feeling unwell and unusually sleepy on the evening before Darren vanished.
He had paid for their first trip abroad together as a 21st birthday present for his childhood sweetheart.
When she next saw him in hospital, she identified him by a tattoo which read: "Laugh now, cry later."

Black Watch lance corporal Darren never regained consciousness and died on Sunday.
Local police claimed the 6ft 3in soldier banged his head on a pavement after an accidental fall and that "no one else was involved".
But yesterday, Darren's father Graham revealed that the case has been reopened after he held talks with Portuguese authorities.
Toxicology reports showed Darren was sober when he was discovered.
But traces of a barbiturate commonly found in sleeping pills were discovered in his system.
Ashleigh fought back the tears yesterday as she recalled her last moments with Darren and her frantic search for him around the resort of Albufeira the following day.
As she tried to find her boyfriend, also 21, she didn't know he was fighting for his life in intensive care.
Speaking from her home in Cupar, Fife, Ashleigh said: "It was the worst six hours of my life. I woke up in the morning and Darren wasn't there.
"His phone was ringing out and I was frantic with worry because it was so out of character for him.
"I phoned our parents and spoke to the hotel. I eventually got some sense out of the police and hospital and tracked Darren down."

The couple had spent their last night together having a couple of drinks at the Scots Rocks bar. They weren't drunk and were enjoying a quiet, relaxing time together.
Ashleigh said: "There is something very wrong about what happened. I had to go home early that night.
"I think our drinks may have been spiked. We'd only had a couple at a local bar, but I felt really unwell.

"Darren took me back and as soon as I got in, I went to sleep and didn't wake up for nearly nine hours, which is very unusual. I've never felt like that before."
Ashleigh woke up to an empty room at her family's timeshare apartment in the Oura-View Beach Club last Thursday.
She said: "Darren was nowhere to be seen and I had a feeling something was seriously wrong."
After desperate calls home and a trip to the local police station, Ashleigh discovered that Darren was in hospital in Faro.
The hotel arranged a driver to take her there and she identified him by his tattoos - the motto "Laugh now, cry later" on the inside of his arms, an unfinished tribal design on his shoulder and a camel on his toe.
Ashleigh was told Darren had fallen and hit his head - but his injuries didn't match that scenario.
He had a slight graze on his head and an injury behind his ear.
She also discovered that when he was found, his treasured HTC mobile phone and cash were missing.
While Ashleigh waited at Darren's bedside, her mum Barbara and his parents Graham and Helen took the first flight to Portugal the next day.
Ashleigh said: "I've never felt so alone in my life.
"No one spoke English and I was in the hospital room with Darren.
"There were tubes everywhere but he didn't have a mark on him. He looked very peaceful and asleep.
"He was such a big, strong guy, it was horrible seeing him looking so helpless in that bed. There was nothing I could do for him.

Barbara, Graham and Helen arrived on Friday but by then, it was obvious that Darren had suffered a catastrophic head injury.
Ashleigh returned home and Darren passed away on Mother's Day with Graham and Helen by his side.
Recalled her last moments with her boyfriend, Ashleigh said: "I told him I loved him and that he had to get better soon to get home and get his tattoo finished. Leaving him there was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I couldn't believe I'd lost him."
The couple met as first-years at Bell Baxter High School in Fife. They had an on-off relationship during school until Darren left to join up at 16.
They became an item again in November 2009, after he returned from his first tour of Afghanistan.
He was preparing for his second trip to the war zone but had talked about settling down with Ashleigh.
Her mum Barbara said: "We all loved him. He was the best thing that had happened to Ashleigh.
"He was the perfect boyfriend who did everything for her and looked after her everywhere they went.
"It's just so tragic that his life has been cut short like this."
Darren's dad Graham, 51, was in talks with Portuguese prosecutors yesterday. He believes that police covered up his son's death to protect the local tourist trade.
After the meeting, the postie from Cupar confirmed the case had been reopened. He added: "Whatever happens now, there will have to be some sort of conclusion."
"It's obvious looking at all the medical and toxicology evidence that something untoward has happened to my son and that he was attacked and robbed of his possessions.
"Whatever happens, I will never give up until the truth is uncovered."


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Re: Yet another murder in Portugal

Post by jackf on Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:09 pm

There was another incident in 2008 which sounded similar. It makes you wonder how many more have there been over the years which we never got to hear about.


Police ‘cover up’ in holiday man’s death

Jul 9 2008
by Chris Robinson, The Journal

A HOLIDAYMAKER who suffered severe head injuries and died in Portugal was not attacked but fell, police said last night.

Former cricketer David Morley died on Friday after enjoying a golfing break in the Vilamoura area of the Algarve.

Wife Marie was told by a neurosurgeon who treated her husband that his injuries resulted from “an act of aggression,” and she still believes he was mugged and attacked after leaving their group to buy cigars for a friend back home.

Mr Morley, 64, of Ryton, Gateshead, suffered a right temporal fracture during the incident on the evening of Thursday, June 26, not long after going missing.

He was transferred from hospital in Faro to intensive care in Lisbon a day later but after tests confirmed he was brain dead, his life support machine was turned off on Friday night.

But last night the policia judiciaria said that an investigation had been concluded after they confirmed Mr Morley had suffered a fall and banged his head.

But Mr Morley’s family said they believed police were trying to cover up an attack in a bid to not deter tourists away from the upmarket resort.

Describing the small arcade where he was injured as a “death trap” for tourists, his wife, 57, of Holburn Terrace, called on police to close it off for fear of another violent attack.

“Not enough is being done to protect tourists over there,” she added.

“He used a walkway which is lit and is used by many tourists.

“I have actually been informed by a Portuguese lady who is from Vilamoura that the government stops, or plays down, the reporting of incidents like this because they rely on tourists for their economy and in my opinion that road needs to be closed so that everybody uses the main street where there are passing cars.”

Mrs Morley also criticised police for their slow uptake of the investigation, which was not logged as a criminal inquiry until three days later.

And she believes she may have come face to face with her husband’s killer as she was frantically trying to find him.

She said: “Part of the problem is that there are a lot of illegal Eastern Europeans there. When we were going from the marina up to get our mobile phones from the hotel, just on the corner where you come off the main road there was a young lad who was frantically trying to flag down a taxi.

“But it had passengers in it and I just thought that was a bit odd. He just ran to the road from the pavement frantically trying to flag it down, I gave his description to the police.”

Mrs Morley said her husband’s gold chains remained on him because they were hidden from view, but an engraved wedding ring, watch and camera are still missing.

Mr Morley’s wallet was discovered after the attack which still contained his credit cards and it was tested for fingerprints.

Mrs Morley said: “When I saw him I told him who I was, he said to me would I get those blokes away from him, and I explained that they were police and paramedics but I got the impression he thought they were perhaps the people who attacked him.”

She said that her husband, a member of golf clubs in Seahouses and at Arcot Hall, Cramlington, had drank two and a half pints of beer that evening and had been enjoying the day with herself and two friends.

Last night brother Keith, 54, said: “Even the doctor at the hospital had said that this was an act of aggression and this is coming from a neurosurgeon who told Marie that.

“Where is his ring and his watch? The only reason they didn’t take his chains was because they couldn’t see them.

“He was clattered on the head and it was an act of aggression.

“They don’t want tourists to know that this is happening out there.”

'An accident'

A SPOKESWOMAN for Portugal's policia judiciaria told The Journal "There was an accident that night, but there's no confirmation of any kind of an attack or assault. "It was a small environment and what we conclude is that he was alone. It was an accident and he injured his head in a fall. "As far as we know everything was returned when the police found him."


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Re: Yet another murder in Portugal

Post by Catkins on Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:22 am

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Re: Yet another murder in Portugal

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