Family tribute to former Topsham farmer killed in Bahamas

PUBLISHED: 15:02 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:09 10 April 2014

Archant

The cousin of a former Topsham farmer who has been shot dead in the Bahamas says his family are ‘completely shocked’ at the news.

Edgar Dart, 56, was killed after he struggled with robbers who had broken into his mother’s home on Grand Bahama, the Royal Bahamas Police Force has said.

Edgar’s cousin Michael Dart, who runs Darts Farm near Topsham with brothers James and Paul, said the family heard of the news yesterday morning.

He said: “We’re just completely shocked that such a terrible thing could happen, and the more we have learned about what happened the more shocking it has been.”

The Dart family are well known farmers across East Devon, and Edgar farmed here until the age of 40, when he moved to Canada.

Educated at Blundell’s School, he also previously played rugby for Exeter Saracens.

Michael said: “He liked a few beers, and was just a lovely man. It is very sad.

“He was back for a family wedding last year. It’s fair to say he had started a new life farming in Canada. He had a lovely farm in Winnipeg and that was where he was at peace really.”

Edgar was in the Bahamas visiting his mother, after the death of his father Colin in December.

The attack happened at her house at around 7am local time on Tuesday.

The three robbers tied up family members with duct tape and Edgar was shot during the ensuing struggle, Royal Bahamas Police assistant commissioner Emrick Seymour has said.

The attackers, reportedly armed with a gun and a machete, are said to have stolen jewellery and other personal belongings.

Philip Poole, Edgar Dart’s brother-in-law, told the Daily Mail the gang threatened Mr Dart’s teenage son George and five relatives and tied them up as he lay dying on the floor.

He said his own son, Pip, 29, had also been attacked and left with machete wounds.

Mr Poole said another family member managed to free herself and raise the alarm, but Mr Dart was already dead.

The gang is believed to have cut the phone lines leading to the house before the attack and fled in a gardener’s van.

Mr Seymour said police had not yet made any arrests, and appealed to the public for help.

He said: “We are right in the middle of our investigation into this situation and we are following some leads.”

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the death of a British national in the Bahamas and were providing consular assistance.”

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