Family's tribute to murdered journalist

THE FAMILY of a dedicated journalist murdered in war-torn Somalia have paid tribute to their beloved daughter and sister who “died doing the job she loved”.

THE FAMILY of a dedicated journalist murdered in war-torn Somalia have paid tribute to their beloved daughter and sister who “died doing the job she loved”.

BBC producer Kate Peyton was killed last month in an apparent drive-by shooting while she was working in the country's capital Mogadishu.

Last night her mother, Angela, from Beyton, near Bury St Edmunds, her brother, Charles, and sister, Rebecca, spoke for the first time about their loss, and said they were still trying to come to terms with Kate's death.

The senior broadcast journalist, who worked for the BBC in Manchester before moving to Africa as a freelance producer 10-years-ago, was on a two-year contract with the corporation, working and living in Johannesburg, at the time of her death.

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Mrs Peyton had been visiting her daughter in Africa and was with her when she received the call to go to Somalia on a 10-day trip.

“Kate was always very calm and never seemed to worry about going to dangerous places, although I think it was always at the back of her mind,” said Mrs Peyton, 64.

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“I was worried about her going and just hoped she would be okay.”

Kate, 39, travelled to Nairobi where she met up with BBC reporter Peter Greste before going with him to Mogadishu on February 9.

The pair were standing outside the city's Sahafi Hotal when a single shot was fired and hit Kate in her back. She was taken to hospital, but died from internal bleeding.

Mrs Peyton said: “Kate had texted me that morning to say she had arrived safely in the capital.

“Later that day I received a phonecall from the BBC telling me she had been shot.”

Kate, a former Culford School pupil, went to Manchester University where she got a degree in civil engineering.

It was not until she spent a year travelling around Australia and the Far East that she made the decision to pave a career for herself in broadcast journalism.

She got a job working for BBC Radio Suffolk, before doing a training course in radio journalism at Darlington.

“Broadcasting was her passion and she loved her job,” said Mrs Peyton. “She knew exactly what the dangers were but that is the risk she took.”

Kate was planning to marry her partner, BBC cameraman Roger Coy, later this year.

The taxi and pistol used in the attack have been found by police in Mogadishu, although the two men thought responsible have not yet been tracked down.

It is believed a fatwa - an official order issued by an Islamic leader - may have been handed out offering £5,000 for the death of westerners.

Kate's brother Charles, 37, said: “We know Kate's death was not personal but there are still a lot of unanswered questions over why my sister wasn't warned about the specific threats she was under.”

Mrs Peyton added: “If the same thing had happened in this country then I would feel very strongly about finding out who was responsible.

“I am very angry about what has happened but because of the circumstances in Somalia, I don't feel as if the 'who' is so important.”

The family now plan to set up a foundation in Kate's memory, to help educate women and girls in Africa.

Her younger sister Rebecca, 32, said: “Kate was a very generous person but she was also extremely determined.

“We have had literally hundreds of emails and cards from people she worked with and she will be missed by so many people.

“We are a very close family and we are just trying to get through this the best that we can.”

Kate's funeral will take place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, at 2pm on Saturday.

All donations will be passed to the family by the cathedral and used to set up the new foundation.

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