Tribute to Murdered Portsmouth Man

14 April 2010, 11:54 | Updated: 14 April 2010, 13:19

The father of a Hampshire man shot dead by gunmen in Ethiopia paid tribute to his son by saying he had "lived his life to the full''.

Jason Read, 39, from the Portsmouth area, was killed on April 5 when his car was ambushed near Danot town in the conflict-ravaged Ogaden region in the south east of the country.

He worked for IMC Geophysics International Ltd, which was subcontracted to the Malaysian oil giant Petronas, which is investigating the death along with the local authorities. The company said he was "liked and respected'' by his colleagues.

Mr Read, his driver and military escort were victims of an "unprovoked attack'' and authorities in Ethiopia have labelled the killing as "an act of banditry''.

Mr Read had worked for Tesla since 2004, working in Ethiopia, Uganda and Europe and was well known in the Portsmouth area as Justin Packham before he changed his name about 15 years ago.

In a statement, his father, Stan Packham, said: "Justin lived his life to the full and made many friends. He will be sadly missed by a lot of people. He was due to come home to see Pompey play in the semi-finals, but he never made it. He was Pompey-mad and would have been so pleased to see them win. It takes a certain breed of worker to do the jobs he did. He's been to Uganda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Somalia as well as Europe with the same firm. He knew what to expect from the job he was doing. The firm, Tesla IMC, has been very good. They've been very supportive throughout.''