Tarek Hawchieh
Tarek Hawchieh

The man accused of the murder of a British diplomat in Lebanon has reportedly given details of the crime. Tarek Hawchieh (also referred to by the media as Tarek Hesso, Tarek Houchiye), reportedly confessed that he killed 30-year-old Rebecca Dykes after sexually assaulting her.

A police source told the Daily Mail that Tarek targeted the Department for International Development worker because of the way she was dressed. "He said he found her pretty, wearing a short skirt... and so he decided to rape her as it would be easy as she was a foreigner," the source said.

Rebecca was on her way home from a popular tourist pub in Beirut and had booked an Uber taxi for the trip.

"The prisoner has confessed that he took advantage of the drunken state of the young woman and he drove towards a highway without her realising. He pulled over in a quiet place," a judicial source told the AFP.

He then reportedly raped and strangled her before dumping her body at the side of the road.

Lebanese police were able to track down the driver using CCTV footage and the Uber company allegedly confirmed that the victim was using the car service at the time of the murder.

Tarek reportedly applied to be an Uber driver by hiding his prior convictions for drugs offences and assault. A source claims he may have either bribed someone to wipe his record or created a fake document.

"In Lebanon, only fully licensed taxi drivers who have a commercial license from the government can use our app. In order to get a commercial taxi license, drivers must have a clean judicial record and meet all the standards set by the government," Uber said in a statement.

"In addition to the government's requirements for a commercial license, we also double check the judicial record of a driver before they can drive on the app. Drivers without a clear judicial record are not able to drive."

Um Hassen, the suspect's mother, showed no sympathy for her son and told reporters that he deserved to be in jail if he committed the crime. "I'm both frustrated and depressed about what happened. If this is really his fault then he should stay in jail and remain there," she said. "I don't know what happened with my son, truly I don't. What Tarek is alleged to have done was very wrong."

Rebecca's family have launched a charity foundation in memory of the programme and policy manager, to continue her efforts to support refugees. The foundation will lay special emphasis on preventing violence against women and working to empower them.

"In the time since Becky's death we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support we have received from those who encountered her during her life," a statement by the Dykes family read. "Becky dedicated her career to humanitarian causes, and worked tirelessly to make the world a kinder, fairer, safer and more stable place. We want to ensure that this work continues in her name."

Rebecca Dykes
Rebecca Dykes, 30, was found dead at the side of the road in Beirut. Family handout via Foreign and Commonwealth Office