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Friday, March 9, 2012

Fashion photographer Charlie Grieves-Cook in death fall from balcony of his model lover's flat after gunmen burst in

A British ex-public schoolboy fell 40ft to his death from a balcony in Kenya after two gunmen forced their way into the luxury apartment of his model girlfriend.

Charlie Grieves-Cook


Fashion photographer Charlie Grieves-Cook apparently fled on to the third-floor balcony to hide from the intruders, who were armed with a pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle.

Charlie Grieves-Cook's girlfriend, Diana Nekoye Sifuna

Top fashion model Diana Nekoye Sifuna told police the men broke into her flat in the Kenyan capital Nairobi looking for her boyfriend but couldn’t find him and left after shooting at a wall in frustration.

She then found Mr Grieves-Cook dangling from the balcony’s safety rail but was unable to pull him to safety and so she ran inside to tie some bedsheets together.

When she returned he had fallen to his death. A post mortem examination has concluded that he died from multiple injuries sustained in the fall.

The Grieves-Cooks are one of Kenya’s most prominent white families and are believed to have been living in the East African country for several generations.

Mr Grieves-Cook, 36, was sent to £30,000-a-year Hurstpierpoint College, a boarding school in West Sussex whose alumni include TV presenter Jamie Theakston and former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Michael Boyce.

He later worked as a chef in some of London’s leading restaurants before returning to Africa in 1998, where he became a top fashion, travel and commercial photographer.
The girlfriend: Kenyan model Diana Nekoye Sifuna has told police her apartment was broken into with men looking for her boyfriend Charlie Grieves-Cook

The girlfriend: Kenyan model Diana Nekoye Sifuna has told police her apartment was broken into with men looking for her boyfriend Charlie Grieves-Cook

He wrote on his website: ‘I left the kitchen for a greater passion and made a career out of photography. I developed a major love for ‘‘travel style photography’’, particularly the African landscape, and the fascinating people that live here in East Africa.’

He had been in a long-term relationship with 24-year-old Miss Sifuna, who is regarded as one of Africa’s most successful models.

His father Jake Grieves-Cook, a former chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board and founder of Gamewatchers Safaris, said he was ‘devastated’ by his son’s death on Saturday night.

He said: ‘Charlie was an extraordinary young man with enormous talent who was loved by all who knew him.

‘He was kind-hearted, exceptionally generous to all around him, modest and unassuming with a zest and passion for life so that he lived the equivalent of a lifetime of 80 years in his 36 years.

‘We are all devastated at the loss of my son and it is heartbreaking for his family and friends.’
Educated: Grieves-Cook is a former scholar of Hurstpierpoint College, West Sussex

Police have questioned Miss Sifuna as a witness and say that they have not yet discovered a firm motive for the attack. Rono Bunei, a police spokesman, said: ‘It seems Mr Grieves-Cook knew these people were after him because he ran after they knocked on the door.’

A source close to the investigation said it was believed that the attack was either a robbery that had gone wrong or that the gunmen had been hired to kill the photographer.

The gunmen managed to evade the building’s security guards as it was believed that the pair were attending a party on the floor below Miss Sifuna’s apartment. A guard who tried to stop the attackers as they fled was shot and injured.

A friend of Miss Sifuna said yesterday that the model was still too upset to talk about what happened.

She found fame as a star of M-Net Face of Africa, the continent’s biggest television model show, and is a former finalist of the prestigious global modelling contest Supermodel of the World.

Dozens of friends of Mr Grieves-Cook posted tributes on social networking sites.

Noel Hays wrote on Facebook: ‘Your memory will live on through your amazing photos.’

Like most white settlers in Kenya, the Grieves-Cooks are the descendants of Britons who moved there when the country was a British colony.

One group of settlers known as the Happy Valley Set – rich, bored British aristocrats in the 1940s – were memorably portrayed in the 1987 film White Mischief starring Charles Dance and Greta Scacchi.

It dramatised the 1941 scandal surrounding the murder of the philandering 22nd Earl of Erroll, Josslyn Hay.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2112285/Charlie-Grieves-Cook-fell-death-Diana-Nekoye-Sifunas-apartment.html#ixzz1oc0nABtX

Special thanks and credits to the source: www.dailymail.co.uk

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