British man shot dead in Venezuela

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, who took part in a Miss Universe pageant in Thailand, and her British ex-husband Thomas Berry, were killed during a robbery.


Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, who took part in a Miss Universe pageant in Thailand, and her British ex-husband Thomas Berry, were killed during a robbery.

A former Miss Venezuela and her British ex-husband were shot dead and their five-year-old daughter wounded during a robbery.

The attack in Venezuela happened after their tyres were punctured, stranding them on an isolated stretch of road between Puerto Cabello and the provincial capital of Valencia, police said.

The couple had locked themselves inside the car during the robbery at around 10.30pm local time on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Monica Spear, 29, a popular soap opera actress, and Thomas Henry Berry, a 39-year-old British citizen, are the latest to be murdered in a country where killings are common in armed robberies.

Police in Puerto Cabello have arrested five suspects, some under the age of 18, the director of the country's investigative police Jose Gregorio Sierralta said.

He said the couple were returning from holiday to Caracas when t heir four-door sedan hit "a sharp object that had been placed on the highway".

Two tow trucks arrived almost immediately and the car was lifted on to one of the trucks when at least six shots were fired.

President Nicolas Maduro mourned "the loss of a very spiritual young woman" actively involved in various charities.

He said the attackers "fired with viciousness."

The daughter, Maya, was in stable condition after treatment for a leg wound and was with relatives in Caracas, said Mr Sierralta.

Mr Berry, who ran a travel agency, moved to Venezuela as a child.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: " We are aware of the death of a British National on January 6 in Venezuela.

"We stand ready to provide consular assistance to the family at this difficult time."

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