Mum's claim adds to Morocco mystery

Tilly Lamb. Photo / Supplied
Tilly Lamb. Photo / Supplied

The mother of a Christchurch-based man who fell to his death in Morocco has told his friends her son was killed as he tried to help his wife who had fallen from a balcony.

However, the authorities in the Moroccan city of Essaouira say the 47-year-old died 18 hours after his wife, Tilly, 44, fell to her death from a third-floor apartment.

To add to the mystery, staff at Christchurch engineering group GHD were told the deaths came while the pair were out walking and Mr Lamb was trying to help his wife, who fell first.

News reports from Morocco, citing police and hospital officials, said the two falls occurred at different buildings and were hours apart.

The British Embassy in Rabat said that the couple died days apart in separate locations.

A spokesman told the Daily Mail that Mathilde Lamb, known as Tilly, fell from an apartment in Essaouira on August 17. She was taken to hospital and died there on August 20.

Mr Lamb was found critically injured 18 hours later on August 21 beneath a balcony at the five-star Sofitel Hotel in the centre of Essaouira. He was taken to the same hospital but transferred 400km away to a specialist unit in Marrakech, where he died.

Mr Lamb was a geotechnical engineer who had his own business in England but had lived in Christchurch for about 10 months. He had been looking at buying a property and told friends his family would also come to New Zealand.

His mother told a friend in Christchurch, Chrissy Jenkins, that Mr Lamb went to his wife's aid after she fell out a window but slipped, hit his head and later died in hospital.

Mrs Jenkins said the mother had told several local people about the fall from the villa.

"There's all sorts of stories going around. I'm sure the truth will come out in the end," she said.

Mrs Jenkins knew Mr Lamb through the Christchurch Carriage Driving Club. He was not a member of the club but attended their outings and shows.

"He was a bloke who always had a smile on his face, a joke and [would] say 'here let me give you a hand there', he was really nice."

Mrs Jenkins said she was shocked. "We were all just blown away by it all."

GHD yesterday would not comment on the deaths and would not say why it initially thought the deaths happened while the couple were walking.

The Lambs were on holiday with their four sons, aged between 9 and 16, when they died. The boys have flown back to Britain where they are being comforted by relatives.

New reports in Britain said the inquiry into the tragedy was being clouded by confused information. There had been speculation about foul play or whether both deaths were accidental.

A friend and former colleague of Mr Lamb's, Julian Maund, 53, said: "No one knows exactly what happened. Roger was devoted to Tilly and would have been distraught when she died.

"I'm certainly not aware of any marital problems between the couple, so it couldn't be anything like that.

"He rang me three weeks ago to say he was coming home. I got the impression he was coming home for good."

- Caroline King of Christchurch Star and staff reporter

- NZ Herald

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