Brit barrister, 57, feared dead after vanishing on hike during Seychelles holiday as police end three-week search
A BRIT barrister is feared dead after vanishing on a hike during a holiday in Seychelles as police end a three-week search.
The retired lawyer is presumed dead after disappearing on a jungle trek on Silhouette Island.
Authorities launched a search mission using choppers, boats and drones but still could not find a trace of Peter Clement, 57.
Mr Clement was on holiday celebrating his retirement following a decorated career as a top barrister in the UK.
He had set off on the 12-mile Grande Barbe trail – renowned for its poorly marked and slipper slopes – on May 15.
The perilous trek runs from one side of the mountainous island to the other.
It’s believed Mr Clement ran into difficulties when bad weather set in.
The chambers he worked for at 2 Harcourt Buildings said the veteran lawyer had “an illustrious career at the criminal bar” and was “loved and respected”.
Police, the coast guard and the army were called in to find Mr Clement, who had been staying at the Labriz Hilton Hotel.
Three weeks on and they’ve called off their search and presumed the Brit dead after failing to find any traces of him.
A statement from the chamber’s website read: “It is with deep shock and sadness that we must announce the loss of our dear friend, colleague and former head of chambers, Peter Clement.
“He had recently retired after an illustrious career at the Criminal Bar, practising from 2 Harcourt Buildings for over 30 years.
“Before joining chambers he was a captain in the Army legal service and served in Northern Ireland.
“He was much loved and respected by everyone in chambers and also among his many friends at the criminal bar. He will be deeply missed.”
Four days into the search mission local Le Seychellois newspaper reported the weather had turned so bad it was unlikely the 57-year-old would still be alive.
“According to the police all his personal belongings and travel documents have been found intact in his hotel room,” the paper reported.
“In an unusual move, the police have admitted the persisting bad weather conditions we are experiencing the last few days, is diminishing their hope of finding the British man alive.”
Matthew Scott, a barrister at Pump Court Chamber, described Mr Clement as a “fine advocate and a man it was impossible not to like.”
Author Robert Verkaik, who studied with Mr Clement, said: “Extraordinary, funny man with no shortage of opinions, a student mature beyond his years.
“His Bar career was a credit to his hard work and intelligence.”
A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed the department was supporting the family of a British man missing in the Seychelles and it was liaising with the local authorities.
Experts have warned holidaymakers who walked the same trail not to go alone and to bring waterproof GPS trackers.
It comes as one guest cautioned on TripAdvisor to “take a guide from the hotel and you will thank me”.
They said the “path to get there is not well marked, the part through the forest can be very slippery”.
Another said that the trail is made up of “unmarked slippery paths in the thick tropical rainforest”.
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