Scot killed in front of autistic son in Mauritius robbery

A 47-year-old Scottish woman has died in Mauritius after reportedly being smothered to death in front of her autistic child during a robbery by masked men at her home.

Janice Farman, originally from Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire, who was found dead by police yesterday, had been in her home with her ten-year-old son when the attack took place.

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

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Mrs Farman had lived in Mauritius since 2004 and worked as the managing director of PECS (Mauritius) Ltd, a which provides data services.

Police believe she was killed during the robbery by three men. Local media reported one man has been arrested.

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

“Police said that she was smothered to death in her bed,” she said.

“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.”

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

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.”

Friends and colleagues posted social media messages.

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Bheshma Bhatoolaul wrote: “The one who taught us about good customer service, about life, the generous woman, humble, funny..she didn’t deserve such a cruel death. All we can do is pray for her soul to rest in peace.”

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.”

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are assisting the family of a British woman following her death in Mauritius, and are in contact with the local authorities.”