British host of popular Lebanese radio show found murdered in his home by 2 Syrian men

Gavin Ford
Gavin Ford

British radio host on one of Lebanon’s most popular morning shows has been found murdered in his home, police say.

Gavin Ford, who was a long-time host on Radio One, was discovered in the bedroom of his flat in the town of Beit Mery, several miles east of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday.

Local An Nahar news website channel reported preliminary findings suggested that Mr Ford, 53, had been strangled and his hands tied back his back. Injuries to his face suggested he was also struck.

“His death was the result of a murder,” a source from the Internal Security Forces (ISF) told the Telegraph, without elaborating.

Radio One co-host Alain Bou Jaoude said that Mr Ford, who had joined the radio station in 1996, did not show up for work on Monday.

He said  the station owner went up to the house, where there was no answer. He alerted ISF, who found him dead.

Police sources said Mr Ford was seen on CCTV on a side road with a small group of men next to his car on Sunday evening. His car has since been reported missing.

A picture of the crime scene leaked to media appeared to show Mr Ford’s handcuffed body laying face down on the floor of the bedroom, which is stained with blood.

Tributes poured in on social media for Mr Ford, who had been one of Lebanon’s most loved radio hosts for years.

“Mornings will never be the same without you You always made my day with your humor and jokes and moans… You will be dearly missed,” wrote one listener, Anthony Merchak.

“Who can hurt such a beautiful soul? RIP,” wrote another.

A statement posted on Radio One’s Facebook page confirmed the news, saying: “We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague Gavin Ford. The management and team express our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues. May his soul rest in peace.”

Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon, Chris Rampling, said he was “shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Mr Ford, one of Lebanon’s most popular morning breakfast hosts”.

“The thoughts of all at the embassy are with his family, friends and colleagues at this terribly difficult time,” he tweeted, also posting a photograph of the talk show host.

A British embassy worker was killed in Beirut in December last year. A taxi driver is due to stand trial for her murder.

2  Syrian men confessed to the crime

The Internal Security Forces confirmed that it had arrested two men Wednesday for the murder of Gavin Ford, adding that they had confessed to the crime.ISF said in a statement Thursday that the two men admitted to killing Ford during a robbery. He was found dead on Nov. 27 at his residence

An examination revealed Ford had died by strangulation and injuries to the face.

“The [suspects] suffocated him and hit him with a sharp device until he lost consciousness. They then left using [Ford’s] car,” the statement said.

It added that within hours of discovering the body, one of the ISF’s Information Branch patrol units found Ford’s stolen car in Souk al-Ahad near Sin el-Fil.

The police then identified a suspect, Syrian national Aa.A., born in 1991, and arrested him on Nov. 28 at his residence in Nabaa.

According to the statement, Aa.A. confessed to committing the murder along with Syrian national H.B., born in 1995, whose whereabouts he said he didn’t know.

Hours after arresting Aa.A., the ISF located and detained Syrian national H.B., born in 1995, in Jnah.

The ISF said that during interrogations, the two admitted to murdering Ford after they went to his house on Nov. 26 with the intent to rob him.

In addition to stealing Ford’s car, the ISF said the men also stole other items, including his phone, car keys and ID documents, which they had hidden in their residences.

The ISF also clarified that the two detained men were different from the people that appeared in a video Ford had published on social media before passing away. The investigation is ongoing under the supervision of the relevant judicial authorities.