Glasgow & West Scotland

Mother killed in front of son in Mauritius robbery

Janice Farman
Image caption Janice Farman had been in Mauritius since 2004

A 47-year-old woman from Clydebank has died in Mauritius after being killed in front of her child during a robbery by masked men at her home.

Janice Farman, who lived with her 10-year-old autistic son, died of asphyxiation during Friday's attack.

She had been in the Indian Ocean country since 2004 and was working as a director of a data services group.

Police believe Mrs Farman was killed during a robbery by three men. One man has been arrested, local media said.

The BBC's World Service correspondent in Mauritius, Yasine Mohabuth, said she had recently moved to Albion, in the west of the island, an area previously known for burglaries.

'Alerted a friend'

He said: "A fight took place between the three robbers and the victim in the presence of her 10-year-old son.

"Police said that she was smothered to death in her bed.

"They had arrived at three in the morning. It was her son that alerted a friend. The burglars stole many things, including her jewellery and her car.

"Her son is now under the care of the child development unit because his father is abroad."

Image caption Mrs Farman's Nissan Tiida was later found by police at the side of the road

A post-mortem examination has since confirmed that Mrs Farman died as a result of asphyxiation caused by compression of the neck.

Mrs Farman's Nissan Tiida was later found by police at the side of the road.

She was originally from Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire and was working as the managing director of PECS (Mauritius) Ltd, a privately owned group of companies providing data services.

A colleague said that he had been contacted by her son in the early hours of Friday, who had told him that his mother was "not breathing".

'Brutally murdered'

In a post on social media, he wrote: "Just imagine.... He clearly had no idea what was going on and he was simply in a state of shock. We called the police and it was later confirmed she did not make it."

He referred to Mrs Farman as his mentor and claimed that "Mauritius was no longer a paradise."

In a statement from Mrs Farman's employer, Stephen Littlechild from PECS data services, said: "Last night our MD in Mauritius Janice Farman was brutally murdered in her own home.

"In view of these tragic events, we have decided to close our Mauritius office today, so we can make sure all our team have access to counsellors and as a mark of respect to a wonderful lady.

"Our thoughts are with Janice's family, friends and colleagues."

The British Foreign Office said it was in contact with local authorities in Mauritius about the case.

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