Northallerton mum shot dead on Turkey holiday - grandma and son injured
Three generations of a Yorkshire family have been shot while on holiday in Turkey – leaving one dead and two in hospital.
The Bury family, from the picturesque village of Swainby near Northallerton, had been celebrating a birthday party at their luxury villa on Sunday when their gardener reportedly opened fire with a pump-action shotgun.
The 46-year-old gardener, identified only by his initials, V.A, had reportedly argued with Catherine Anne Bury, 56, on Friday.
Frightened by his death threats Ms Bury, together with her mother Cecille, 87 and son Alex, 24, reported the gardener to Turkish police at the picturesque resort of Dalyan on the south coast of the country.
The Turk was arrested on Saturday and held overnight by police investigating the British family’s complaint.
Reassured that the Turkish authorities had the situation under control, the Bury family set about decorating their villa with bunting and balloons to celebrate Ms Bury’s birthday with a poolside party on Sunday - unaware that the heavy-drinking gardener had been released and was bent on revenge.
Ignoring warnings from the police, the gardener loaded eight rounds into his pump-action shotgun and headed back to the Burys’ villa.
Arriving in the early hours of Monday morning he felled Ms Bury’s mother Cecille with a bullet to her back and son Alex with a shot in his leg.
Ms Bury fled the gunman and raced up three flights of stairs to the top floor of her holiday home.
She bolted herself in the third floor bathroom, but the crazed gunman blasted the lock and shot her four times as she lay on the tiled floor. She died at the scene.
Cecille, who is known as Celia, was raced to hospital in Fethiye, from where she has since been discharged. Alex was taken to Mugla University Hospital for treatment. His condition is described as stable.
The gardener later gave himself up to police and is due to appear in court later today.
The slaughter has devastated the fishing village of Dalyan, famous for its ancient rock tombs, natural mud baths and turtle beach.
The village, set on the Dalyan Channel between an inland lake and the Mediterranean Sea, is a popular excursion for British tourists staying in nearby Fethiye and Marmaris.
Today in Northallerton, Ms Bury’s black 4x4 was parked outside her bungalow, which is set back from the street, tucked behind a former blacksmith’s.
The neat home is called A Prima Vista, and is close to the centre of Swainby village which has a stream running through the middle and is tucked below the North York Moors.
Neighbours, who knew Ms Bury as Anne, said the family were “lovely people who never got in trouble”.
Stephen Garbutt, 72, who lives in the adjoining bungalow to Ms Bury, said: “I never ever heard a bad word, or a cross word or anything like that from any of them.
“How on earth they got into this situation I cannot imagine.
“I have never known Anne, for want of a better word, in trouble.”
Mr Garbutt said his neighbour, who trained as a midwife, had been working for an oil company in Dubai in a health role.
Her son Alex worked at a local hotel, the Cleveland Tontine, after taking a year out of university but was hoping to restart his studies in medicine.
Cecilia was “a real lady”, Mr Garbutt added.
His wife Jennifer, 70, said: “I cannot believe Anne or any of them would say such a thing to get a person in that state. She never offended anybody.”
Mr Garbutt said: “She was always talking about dieting, but she was quite slim and didn’t need to.”
His wife added: “She was a very attractive lady, so why on earth she wanted to go on a diet...”
Ms Bury and her son had lived in the village for about 12 years, the Garbutts said.
“We couldn’t wish for better neighbours,” he said.
“Alex is very clever and wants to study to be a doctor. He is so polite and never said a harsh word to anybody, is always very helpful.”
They remembered him going to Stokesley High School as a boy when the family moved in.
The Garbutts, who have three daughters and a granddaughter, were distraught at the news.
Mrs Garbutt said: “They were a lovely family and this has broken my heart. It has knocked me for six.”
Her husband, a retired chemical engineer, added: “I could understand if they were aggressive or trouble-makers, but they are the one family I would put money on not getting in trouble.”
A statement issued by the Turkish ministry of culture and tourism said: “The death of British citizen Catherine Anne Bury, and the wounding by shooting of her son Alexander Gerard Bury and mother Cecilia Bury, in Turkey’s south-western town of Dalyan yesterday is currently being investigated by the relevant authorities.
“The chief suspect has been arrested and is currently under custody, while a full investigation is under way.
“Cecilia Bury has been discharged from hospital while Alexander Gerard Bury is in a stable condition there.”
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed they had been made aware of the death and were providing “consular assistance” to the family.
He added: “We can confirm the hospitalisation of two British nationals in Turkey on 9 September. We are providing consular assistance.”
• Pictures: East Med Media and rossparry.co.uk/syndication