Friends of a former Sheffield lawyer and his wife killed in an apparent robbery at their home in the Caribbean have been rocked by what the Foreign Office called a ‘terrible crime’.
Richard Wheeler, aged 73, and his 67-year-old wife Grace were discovered with horrific injuries at their home in Tobago.
Mr Wheeler was a partner in the Tobago office of Lex Caribbean, and also a member of the Tobago Chamber of Commerce. His wife, who was local, worked for a real estate agency.
The couple are believed to have lived at their home in Carnbee, Tobago, for 16 years but it is understood Mr Wheeler is originally from Sheffield.
Their bodies were discovered by their gardener on Tuesday morning.
He went to police, who attended the house and found Mrs Wheeler unresponsive on the lawn, with a cut to the neck.
They then 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.
The 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.”
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.”
Diane Hadad, the 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 continued that 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.”