A support group for families, partners and friends of the victims of murder and manslaughter abroad.

 

We welcome all media and professional enquiries. 
For expert comment on breaking news or to arrange interviews, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

This moving video was made before we changed our name from SAMM Abroad to Murdered Abroad, but the sentiment and the powerful messages still apply. Thank you to Always A Chance for creating this video and for supporting our work.

 
 

Murdered Abroad was previously called SAMM Abroad which was founded in 2001. 

 

Murdered Abroad exists specially for people in the UK whose loved ones are the victims of murder or manslaughter abroad.

We are a support group. We are also an action group, working for change within the UK to improve the support families receive after their loved one is murdered abroad.

Murdered Abroad is funded by donations and fundraising.

Murdered Abroad is an independent charity and is not funded by any Government office or agency.

 

Support

We provide emotional support through:

  • Four support meetings each year, open to all members

  • Putting members in touch with each other; particularly after murders in the same country

  • A phoneline members can call to talk about anything (0845 123 2384)

  • Email support available at all times from support@murdered-abroad.org.uk

Read more >

Trustees of Murdered Abroad

 

- Eve Henderson -   Co-Founder, Director, Trustee  My husband of 32 years, Roderick Henderson, was killed in France in 1997 when my family went to Paris for the weekend to celebrate his birthday.    My son and son-in-law were also attacked in the street by the gang of youths.  Roderick’s death and the aftermath of a failed police investigation – no-one was ever caught for the crime – was traumatic for all of us.  It was truly shocking to be left on my own to deal with the problems of language, culture and a foreign judicial process and I was even more shocked that there was no clear policy or procedure in place here in the UK to assist my family.  Nine months after Roderick’s death, the Coroner returned an Unlawful Killing verdict and for the statutory agencies here in the UK, that was the end of the matter.  However, with the help of pro-bono lawyers, we took the case to the ECHR on the basis of a negligent investigation in France but in 2015 some 18 years after Roderick's death, this action also failed.    Along this difficult road, my family and I amassed a wealth of knowledge that can hopefully be used to help others in a similar situation.

- Eve Henderson -
  Co-Founder, Director, Trustee

My husband of 32 years, Roderick Henderson, was killed in France in 1997 when my family went to Paris for the weekend to celebrate his birthday.  

My son and son-in-law were also attacked in the street by the gang of youths.  Roderick’s death and the aftermath of a failed police investigation – no-one was ever caught for the crime – was traumatic for all of us.  It was truly shocking to be left on my own to deal with the problems of language, culture and a foreign judicial process and I was even more shocked that there was no clear policy or procedure in place here in the UK to assist my family.  Nine months after Roderick’s death, the Coroner returned an Unlawful Killing verdict and for the statutory agencies here in the UK, that was the end of the matter.  However, with the help of pro-bono lawyers, we took the case to the ECHR on the basis of a negligent investigation in France but in 2015 some 18 years after Roderick's death, this action also failed.  

Along this difficult road, my family and I amassed a wealth of knowledge that can hopefully be used to help others in a similar situation.

- Brian Chandler -   Treasurer, Director, Trustee  Our grandson, Liam Hogan, was killed by his father pushing him off a fourth floor hotel balcony in Crete in 2006, along with his sister, Mia, who fortunately survived.  His father was cleared of murder by a Greek court who did not call any eye witnesses. Nevertheless, the UK Coroner recorded a verdict of "unlawful killing", after a proper inquest nearly five years later.

- Brian Chandler -
  Treasurer, Director, Trustee

Our grandson, Liam Hogan, was killed by his father pushing him off a fourth floor hotel balcony in Crete in 2006, along with his sister, Mia, who fortunately survived.

His father was cleared of murder by a Greek court who did not call any eye witnesses. Nevertheless, the UK Coroner recorded a verdict of "unlawful killing", after a proper inquest nearly five years later.

- Bren McLaughlin -   Director, Trustee  My brother, Howard Lister (aged 38) was murdered in his own home in Perth, Australia, in September 1999 and buried in a pine plantation.  All three perpetrators blamed each other for causing his death, so were tried on a joint enterprise ruling that they were all involved.     They were found guilty of wilful murder and sentenced to 17 years each. One of the perpetrators obtained an appeal and had his sentence cut to 11 years for murder. He was released after serving 13 years in prison. The second perpetrator was released on parole in November 2016. The third remains in prison in Perth.

- Bren McLaughlin -
  Director, Trustee

My brother, Howard Lister (aged 38) was murdered in his own home in Perth, Australia, in September 1999 and buried in a pine plantation.

All three perpetrators blamed each other for causing his death, so were tried on a joint enterprise ruling that they were all involved.  
 
They were found guilty of wilful murder and sentenced to 17 years each. One of the perpetrators obtained an appeal and had his sentence cut to 11 years for murder. He was released after serving 13 years in prison. The second perpetrator was released on parole in November 2016. The third remains in prison in Perth.

- Kim Spooner -   Director, Trustee  My uncle and aunt, Neil "Billy" Spooner and Mary Smith, were unlawfully killed in March 1987 in the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster in Belgium which took the lives of 193 passengers and crew. Seven people were charged with gross negligence manslaughter, and the operating company, P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd, was charged with corporate manslaughter, but the case collapsed. The case set a precedent that 'corporate manslaughter' is legally admissible in English courts.  My sister, Lianne "Lee" Burns, was brutally murdered in her home in April 2011 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. The murderer was sentenced to 20 years in prison and will have to serve at least 15 years. 

- Kim Spooner -
  Director, Trustee

My uncle and aunt, Neil "Billy" Spooner and Mary Smith, were unlawfully killed in March 1987 in the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster in Belgium which took the lives of 193 passengers and crew. Seven people were charged with gross negligence manslaughter, and the operating company, P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd, was charged with corporate manslaughter, but the case collapsed. The case set a precedent that 'corporate manslaughter' is legally admissible in English courts.

My sister, Lianne "Lee" Burns, was brutally murdered in her home in April 2011 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. The murderer was sentenced to 20 years in prison and will have to serve at least 15 years. 



All Trustees are available for media appearances/comments.
Contact support@murdered-abroad.org.uk to make a request.

Join Us

Name *
Name

Membership of Murdered Abroad is free and open to anyone in the UK who has been bereaved by murder or manslaughter abroad. Any information provided on this form will be treated in the strictest of confidence and will be processed securely in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR.

Foreign & Commowealth Office (FCO)

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has published a number of guides offering information and advice following the murder, manslaughter or death in suspicious circumstances of British citizens in the following countries:

Barbados

France

Greece

India

Jamaica

Kenya

Pakistan

Philippines

Spain

St. Lucia

Thailand

The guides cover comprehensive details of topics such as: Post-mortems (autopsies); Organ retention; Burial or Cremation and Repatriation; Police Investigations; Local Judicial Process.

Repatriation

You may be asked if you want your loved one's remains to be buried or cremated abroad. The repatriation of your loved one's body to the UK will trigger a UK Inquest.  If your loved one is cremated or buried abroad this will not happen.

This can be a difficult choice if your loved one loved the country where they were murdered, lived there or has family there (so burial abroad is preferred) but you also want to get as much information as possible to help get justice and answers after your loved one's murder.

While cost may be a major consideration, it must be realised that failure to repatriate will almost certainly mean that there will be no further investigative work undertaken by UK authorities into the cause or manner of death. It is advisable to check whether repatriation costs can be reclaimed in full, or in part, under personal or travel Insurance policies. As a guide, repatriation costs are likely to be in the order of £4,000 from European countries rising to significantly more, when further afield. The most expensive areas are China, South America and Japan.

Read more >

The Coroner

If you,  your friends, or family have lost a loved one through murder or manslaughter ("homicide") abroad, you will need a good understanding of how the British Coronial system works.

First and foremost, you should realise that unless the body of the deceased is repatriated to the UK, and not buried or cremated in the country of the death, the British Coroner will not be able to investigate the death.

The Coroner’s role is purely inquisitive - it is not judgemental, it has nothing to do with blame. However the Coroner’s job is very much in line with the objectives of most victim’s families, and that is to find out the truth surrounding the death. So it is best to establish a good working relationship with the Coroner and his or her staff. 

Read more >

UK Government & UK Parliament

How to find your MP (Member of Parliament):  parliament.uk  

How to find your MEP (Member of the European Parliament): europarl.org.uk

Contact your Councillors, MP, MEPs, MSPs, or Northern Ireland, Welsh and London AMs for free: writetothem.com 

Find out what your MP is doing in your name, read debates and sign up for email alerts: theyworkforyou.com  

Read more >

 

UK Police

The 1861 Offences Against the Person Act stipulates that “where any murder or manslaughter shall be committed on land out of the United Kingdom … by any subject of Her Majesty [it] may be dealt with, inquired of, tried, determined, and punished … in England or Ireland”.

A lack of forensic testing around the cause of death in many parts of the developing world and even the European Union may preclude an adequate police investigation. As a result, leverage from the bereaved family and UK coroners may bring about a UK police investigation conducted abroad.

The UK police face many other potential challenges and pitfalls in carrying out overseas investigations. Aside from cultural differences and language barriers, UK police officers deal with an array of judicial processes and varying standards of policing practice. In much of the developing world, for instance, there will be little or no access to computers, DNA or fingerprinting assets; across the globe, penalties for and definitions of offences will vary.

There are also challenges in managing relationships not only with local police and international institutions (for example, Interpol and Europol) but also those UK government bodies that will have an involvement, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Victim Support Homicide Service, and coroners.

http://theconversation.com/international-co-operation-is-crucial-for-solving-crimes-against-britons-abroad-22327

Read more >

Of all the consequences suffered as a result of crime, the anguish experienced in those cases where a relative is killed stands alone.
— Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, July 2011