Three members of North Yorkshire family shot - one fatally - on holiday in Turkey (From The Northern Echo)
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Three members of North Yorkshire family shot - one fatally - on holiday in Turkey
A MOTHER has been killed and her son and mother seriously injured as they held a poolside party at their holiday home in Turkey.
Anne Bury, of Swainby, near Stokesley, North Yorkshire, were celebrating her 56th birthday at her villa in Dalyan, on the country's south-west coast, when a local gardener is reported to have burst into the property with a shotgun in the early hours of yesterday (Monday, September 9).
Miss Bury's 87-year-old mother, Cecille, of Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, was first shot in the back and her university student son, Alex, 24, in the leg before she was chased up three flights of stairs to the top of the villa.
The lock was blasted off the bathroom door after Miss Bury had bolted herself inside. A further four shots were then fired as she lay on the floor.
Medics pronounced the former James Cook University Hospital midwife, who served as the national NHS patient safety manager from 2003 to 2008, dead at the scene.
Mrs Bury was taken to hospital in Fethiye, and was discharged today (Tuesday, September 10), before travelling the 100 miles to be with her grandson at Mugla University Hospital.
Police officers corden off the area where birthday decorations can still be seen
A hospital spokesman said: "Alex underwent surgery to repair a damaged artery in his leg. The operation was a success and he is now stable."
Neighbours described a scene of horror as emergency services arrived at the holiday home.
Ozman Tugcu, who lives behind the Bury's villa, said: "We didn't hear anything. The first thing we knew was when the jandarma (police) arrived.
"I was horrified to see the elderly lady bought out of the house. She was covered in blood. I was sure she was dead and am astonished she survived."
Locals identified the 46-year-old gunman as Velli Acar, a handyman and gardener who worked for the family.
Anne Bury, 56, who died at the scene from shotgun wounds
Until last year he also owned a boat running trips for tourists at the fishing village known for its ancient rock tombs, natural mud baths and turtle beach, where Miss Bury had visited for the past six years.
Her neighbours said they believed she was a friend of Acar, and that he is alleged to have kept money she had paid him to employ local tradesmen.
After she discovered bills for work had not been paid, she argued with Acar and it is said that he threatened to kill her, they added.
Mr Tugcu said: "I'd seen them out together occasionally and thought they were a couple. But they were both quiet and kept themselves to themselves."
Dalyan boatman Ali added: "Only the week before last I saw them out together. I thought they were a couple."
After the family filed a criminal complaint about the death threats at the village police station, he was arrested on Saturday and held overnight, before being questioned by officers and given a warning.
Acar was released and within hours is alleged to have returned to the villa which Miss Bury bought in 2011 and rented out for £1,900-a-week.
He was arrested after walking into the village police station and detectives examined the crime scene as Acar was due to appear in court.
Acar has allegedly told Turkish police that he lost control in a jealous rage, claiming they were a couple and lost control after spotting her with another man.
It is understood jealousy can be considered a mitigating factor in Turkish courts, where it can be seen as the equivalent of a diminished responsibility defence.
Dalyan council worker, Nevzat, said: "Velli was also a quiet man, but we think he had an alcohol problem. He would often drink a bottle of Raki."
Miss Bury's siblings have flown to Turkey to be at her son's hospital bedside, assist her mother and to bring the former Teesside University Enhancing Practice and Innovation Centre associate's body back to Britain.
Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism said in a statement: "The chief suspect has been arrested and is currently under custody, while a full investigation is under way."
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said it was providing consular assistance to the Bury family.
- Passionate healthcare advocate Anne Bury was enjoying the fruits of a long and successful career with those she was closest to when tragedy unfolded at her dream holiday home.
Miss Bury had completed a range of household chores before leaving her home of 12 years in the small North Yorkshire village of Swainby with her university student son, Alex, and mother, Cecille, of Nunthorpe for a break in the sun.
The former South Tees NHS Trust senior midwife, who worked at James Cook University Hospital between 1992 and 2000 after gaining a degree at Gateshead School of Midwifery, had worked as a risk manager for an oil company in Dubai for the past 18 months.
She regularly visited her bungalow, where her 24-year-old son lived between university courses, as he worked towards becoming a doctor.
Swainby neighbours Stephen Garbutt, 72, and his wife, Jennifer, 70, said shortly before departing for the holiday, Miss Bury had spent time varnishing her front door.
Mr Garbutt, a retired chemical engineer, said Miss Bury had paid close attention to her health and enjoyed the benefits of the warm climate in Turkey.
Mrs Garbutt added: "When I found out what had happened I burst into tears.
"We couldn't have had better people to live next door to, we can never replace her.
Neighbours Stephen and Jennifer Garbutt
"As a grandmother, it is terribly upsetting as we have watched Alex, who is a very easy going and clever lad, grow up into such a lovely person."
She said Mr Bury, a former pupil at Stokesley School, had excelled in scientific subjects and played keyboards.
Mr Garbutt said the Burys were a very close family and regularly returned to their former home town of Middlesbrough , where they spent time with Anne's mother, Cecille.
He said: "I never saw Anne get irritated by anything and how they could have got into these circumstances I can't imagine."
A spokeswoman for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where Miss Bury had worked as a midwife before taking on a range of senior NHS roles in delivering healthcare improvements, said she had been "a popular and well respected member of staff".
She said: "Anne was the trust's first risk manager in maternity with a real focus on quality and patient safety. She'll be sadly missed by everyone who knew her."
The home of Anne Bury in Swainby, near Northallerton
Miss Bury, who had spoken of her love for the area near her "second home" in Dalyan and the "friendly" local people, had also worked as the patient safety manager at North East Strategic Health Authority and at Teesside University as an associate of the Enhancing Practice and Innovation Centre for Care.
NHS director of safety, Suzette Woodward, said the former patient safety manager at the National Patient Safety Agency had been "deeply committed to improving healthcare", and would be missed by many people.
Mr Bury's colleagues at the Cleveland Tontine restaurant and hotel, in nearby Staddlebridge, where Mr Bury worked for five years as a waiter, said they had been shocked by the shooting.
A restaurant spokesman said: "He is a delightful young man, a joy to work with and much loved by customers and colleagues alike.
"We send our heartfelt condolences to all the family and our hopes for a full and speedy recovery to Alex."
The luxury villa in Dalyan, Turkey, where the incident took place
More than 200 people, including family members, attended a special service at 6pm this evening (Tuesday) to pray for Anne and the family.
Alex's friends contacted Fr Tom O'Neill, parish priest of the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, soon after hearing the news from Turkey to ask if he would say Mass and word spread via emails and social media.
Fr O'Neill told the hushed congregation that while they were all shocked and confused by what had happened, they were doing the best thing they could by coming together to pray.
Alex is active in a number of organisations in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough.
Tony Kirk, who as Middlesbrough Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage's head brancardier oversees Alex's work as a volunteer helper in Lourdes, led the congregation in reciting the rosary after the Mass.
The gardener, known only as VA, 46, is led away by Turkish jandarma
Introducing the prayers, Mr Kirk said: "We pray for the repose of Anne's soul and for the speedy recovery and safe return of Cecilia and of our friend, Al, a wonderful, genuine, gentle man.
"Al touches the hearts of everyone he meets and most of all when he's serving the Church through the Knights of St Columba and serving and helping the sick and people with disabilities at Lourdes and also at home with the Middlesbrough Catholic Handicapped Fellowship."
After the service, one of three celebrants, Fr Paul Farrer, director of Middlesbrough Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage, said: "We're all shocked and deeply saddened that this could happen to such a lovely family. Al is a regular on our annual pilgrimage and is a really genuine lad who seems to live his life for other people.
"We're proud he's one of our helpers, who pays for himself to travel with us to Lourdes every year and give his time and his talents in the service of others."
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