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Sussex man shot in Belgium
11:51am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
A British oil executive from Sussex has been shot dead in front of his wife in what appears to have been an assassination-style killing in Belgium.
Nicholas Mockford, 60, an executive for ExxonMobil from Chichester, was gunned down as he left an Italian restaurant in a suburb of the capital Brussels.
He was shot three times, once as he lay on he floor, and his wife Mary was left beaten and covered in blood, cradling her husband and shouting for help. He died on the way to hospital.
Witnesses say they saw the couple walk across the street to their Lexus car before shots were fired.
Reports suggest two men were spotted running away from the scene, one holding a motorcycle helmet.
The shooting is understood to have happened on October 14, but news about the attack has only emerged now after Belgian police imposed a news blackout, reports said.
The Belgian prosecutor's office said last night (October 25) that there was a "judicial instruction" from Martine Quintin, the investigating judge, that meant they could give no "explanation" and no detail about the killing.
However, Chief Inspector Wim Van Leifferenge said the killing had been reported by media in the country since it happened.
Mr Van Leifferenge said no-one had been arrested and those responsible were still on the run.
A Foreign Office spokesman said today (October 26): "We can confirm the death of a British national in Brussels on October 14 and we are providing consular assistance."
Mr Mockford is understood to have worked for ExxonMobil since the 1970s and was head of marketing for interim technologies for ExxonMobil Chemicals, Europe, promoting new types of greener fuel.
Brought up in Leicestershire, he had moved abroad from Chichester some years ago, living in Belgium and Singapore.
He was married to his Belgian wife for 15 years and has three grown-up children living in Britain.
A spokesman for ExxonMobil said: "We are shocked by the tragic death of one of our employees on Sunday, October 14 in Brussels.
"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues and we are supporting them as best we can at this very difficult time."
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