Two admit to killing British DJ in Beirut
Two Syrian men admitted to killing British radio host Gavin Ford this week in his house near Beirut, Lebanese police said on Thursday.
Ford’s tied-up body was discovered on Tuesday in Broumana, in the hills above the capital.
The first fugitive, identified only as AA, was arrested on Wednesday in Nabaa, a suburb east of Beirut. He confessed to killing Ford, 53, with another Syrian national, referred to by his initials HB. The second man was identified and arrested in Jnah, a suburb south of the city. He also confessed to the murder.
According to a police statement, the men said they went to Ford’s home on Monday to steal. They strangled the Briton and hit him with a sharp object until he lost consciousness. They then drove away in his car. The men hid some of the stolen goods in Nabaa, where they both lived.
Ford’s phone, car keys and ID papers were found in their apartment. The car was discovered on Monday parked near a popular flea market called Souk Al Ahad.
The police stressed that the killers were not the two men who appeared in a video circulated by Lebanese media in which Ford appears to be filming himself relaxing in a living room.
Ford was a popular figure in Lebanon, where he had worked for 20 years. The DJ was the voice of Radio One’s Gavin Ford in the Morning show, a commuter favourite. He had previously worked in Cyprus and studied at the National Broadcasting School.
A few hours after his death was made public, a graphic picture of Ford’s body, as well as a supposed police report, circulated on social media.
On Wednesday, the state prosecutor ordered military prosecutor Peter Germanos to investigate the leaks and take “strict measures against the perpetrators”, the Lebanese national news agency reported.
The photograph shocked some of Ford’s fans, who criticised its distribution.
Some of Ford’s friends who The National spoke to refused to comment on the picture, choosing instead to focus on his achievements in life.
“Thank you for all the laughs over the years. Thank you for brightening up Lebanon’s politics and religion-infested airwaves with your wit and love,” wrote blogger Gino Raidy.
Briton Gavin Ford worked in Lebanon for 20 years