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Saturday, 15 December, 2001, 12:43 GMT
Tributes flood in for murdered journalist
Lynette Pearson
The former presenter began her BBC career in Nottingham
Tributes have been paid to the former BBC news presenter, who has been killed with two members of her family when bandits attacked their home in Trinidad.

Journalist Lynette Pearson was killed along with her 83-year-old mother Maggie Lee and her British brother-in-law John Cropper.

The family had just enjoyed a tea party when the bandits struck. The robbers left the bodies in the bathroom and stole their car and other valuables.

Mrs Pearson, professionally known as Lynette Lithgow, was described as "a lovely warm person" who was "a joy to work with" by a former BBC colleague.


There was always a smile on her face and she absolutely sparkled on screen.

Kevin Hill, BBC East Midlands Today

Kevin Hill, an editor of the regional news programme BBC East Midlands Today, which she used to present, said: "She was a lovely warm person who thought more of her colleagues and friends than she did of herself.

Hands bound

"There was always a smile on her face and she absolutely sparkled on screen."

She began her BBC career in Nottingham, working for the corporation in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
The family lived near the capital Port of Spain

Mrs Pearson and her family were found on Thursday with their hands bound and their throats cut, said police in Trinidad.

Mr Cropper, a 59-year-old agricultural consultant lived at the house, near the capital Port of Spain, with his wife, a retired UN officer.

His widow, Angela Cropper - Lynette Pearson's sister - was due to fly to London to be with relatives.

Mrs Cropper's niece said: "She is absolutely devastated. Her son died three years ago and now this triple murder and they are all related to her."

She added: "They were cleaning up 10 to 15 minutes after the tea party had finished when these bandits just stormed the house and that was it."

'Grisly'

An assistant superintendent investigating the triple murder described the scene as the most "brutal and grisly" he had ever seen.

The detective, who cannot be named due to police regulations forbidding contact with the media, said: "I have visited a number of scenes in my career but I never see anything as brutal or grisly as that.

"It was really a horrendous sight."

Mrs Pearson presented news summaries on BBC One in the late 1980s and later worked for BBC World.

Director of BBC News Richard Sambrook said she was "a much trusted and popular colleague" who would be greatly missed by all who worked with her.

She left journalism to take up an academic career and after completing a law degree at Oxford, she went on to take up a fellowship post at Harvard.

Author

She was a published author and had two grown-up children.

Post mortems are due to be carried out on the three family members on Saturday.

Their bodies were found by a cleaner on Thursday morning.

See also:

27 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Trinidad and Tobago
11 Dec 01 | Americas
Trinidad's fate in president's hands
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