Tourist killed in Jordan had quit job in Dublin

A British tourist shot dead in Jordan this week had just quit his job in Dublin to go travelling, his distraught parents confirmed today.

Christopher Stokes, a chartered accountant, of Littleborough, Rochdale in the UK, was killed when the lone attacker shot at his tour party in a Roman theatre in Amman.

His parents, Rod and Norma Stokes, said their 30-year-old son had quit his job in an audit firm in Dublin four weeks ago to go travelling around the Middle East.

When officers came to tell them Christopher had died, they said they initially thought it was their other son, Phil, a Territorial Army sergeant currently in Iraq.

“I’m certainly not angry or annoyed at the nutcase who shot him. It’s just one of life’s variabilities, I’ve enough things to deal with without remotely bothering about him,” said Mr Stokes.

“It’s totally destructive and negative and pointless.”

The family said Christopher, who had worked in Dublin for three years, had planned to return to the Rochdale area to set up home after his travels.

Mr and Mrs Stokes said Christopher, a Liverpool football fan, had worked long hours as a chartered accountant with an audit firm and that he saved up his annual leave for foreign trips during the summer.

Mr Stokes said: “He knew he was going to dangerous places. He knew the chance was there.”

They said their son had travelled to the Middle East with a tour company and the trip had taken him to Turkey and Syria.

“He enjoyed travelling, he was nuts about getting new experiences,” Mrs Stokes said. “He wanted to go to places people didn’t normally go to.”

Mr Stokes added: “Ironically we thought Jordan was the safest of the places that he was going to go to.”

Having both her sons in dangerous places was stressful, Mrs Stokes said, but she was even less prepared for something to have happened to Christopher.

Mrs Stokes said she had been telephoned by her neighbour, after police had called to the house to break the news to her while she was out.

Mr Stokes, 59, who returned home from his job as a computer programmer in Cleckheaton to be told the news, said he had cried his eyes out because he would not see his son again.

They said their other son Philip would be returning home.

Asked how they would remember Christopher, Mrs Stokes, 60, a retired primary school teacher, said: “He was a very loving and caring son.”

She added: “What happened could have happened down the street. You cannot wrap your children in cotton wool.

“You have got to let them live and grow and live their lives, and Chris certainly lived his life.”


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