Friends of a former Sheffield lawyer and his wife killed in an apparent robbery at their home on the Caribbean island of Tobago have been rocked by what the Foreign Office called a “terrible crime”.
Lawyer Richard Wheeler, 73, had lived on the island for the past 16 years, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said.
The body of his wife Grace, 67, a local woman, was discovered first by a gardener at their home in the village of Carnbee on Tuesday morning, TTPS said.
Police found Mrs Wheeler unresponsive on the lawn with a cut to her neck.
Officers went inside and found Mr Wheeler face down in a pool of blood with “chop wounds” to both arms and the back of the head.
A police statement said: “An initial assessment suggests robbery as the possible motive as the bedroom and living room areas were ransacked. However, all avenues are being explored and all leads pursued.”
The BBC said Mr Wheeler was reportedly from Sheffield and worked for firm Lex Caribbean.
The company’s website says: “Richard Wheeler is a partner in the Tobago Office. Richard attended the Ratcliffe College and the College of Law, Lancaster Gate, London.
“He was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales in 1973 and he has also been admitted to practice in Hong Kong and Trinidad and Tobago.
“He is a member of the Tobago Chamber of Commerce. Richard specializes in property development and conveyancing.”
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Following the death of a British national in Tobago on October 20, our staff are travelling to the island to support family members at this difficult time.
“They will also meet senior police officers investigating this terrible crime after our high commissioner spoke with Trinidad and Tobago’s police commissioner earlier today.”
Diane Hadad, chairman of the Tobago Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce, said Mr Wheeler was a “gentleman” and called the murder a “tragedy”.
Ms Hadad, who lives near the couple, told the Press Association they were “friendly, always smiling, always laughing”, adding: “They led a simple life, a friendly life. They were not people who caused trouble.”
She said Mr Wheeler was a “professional” at work who “always looked at both sides of an argument”.
The community has been rocked by the murder, added Ms Hadad, who called on authorities to act.
She said: “As a community we must take care of each other, we must respect human life. We are hoping the perpetrators are brought to justice.”