Chesterfield inquest hears beheaded British aid worker Khalil Dale was ‘prepared to put himself in danger’

Khalil Dale.
Khalil Dale.

A much-loved British aid worker who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan said he was prepared to put himself in danger for a good cause, an inquest held in Chesterfield heard.

Khalil Dale was abducted by masked men while working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Quetta, south-west Pakistan, on January 6, 2012.

Passers-by found his beheaded body on the roadside on April 29 that year.

Chesterfield coroners’ court heard his kidnappers wanted $30million for his return.

The inquest is taking place in Chesterfield because Mr Dale is buried in Derbyshire.

A number of tributes were paid to the 60-year-old during the start of the high-profile hearing on Tuesday.

Jane McLachlan, one of Mr Dale’s close friends, said: “He had a good sense of humour, he was loyal and supportive and he was a real gentleman.

“When he told me he was going to Quetta, he said it was the most dangerous place in the world.

“He told me he was prepared to put himself in danger for a good cause.”

Ms McLachlan spoke to Mr Dale regularly while he was in Quetta.

She told the court: “He said he received death threats.

“He was extremely concerned and extremely frightened and I said ‘why isn’t the Red Cross getting you out?’

“He had a meeting with them and was much calmer.”

The court heard Mr Dale had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following previous humanitarian postings when he had been detained, tortured and witnessed the killing of two colleagues.

Dora Montheith, another of Mr Dale’s close friends, said: “Khalil was a very hard-working man.

“He didn’t want to see any injustice and he could get very upset about things like corruption.

“I was so shocked when I found out he had been killed.

“I couldn’t believe it had happened.

“He was one of my life-long friends – we were very close.

“He was very happy working in Quetta – he told me it was his dream job.”

Anne Casey, Mr Dale’s fiancée, called him a “living legend”.

She added: “He had a strong humanitarian drive – he wanted to help other people.”

Ms Casey described Quetta as “the wild west of Pakistan” and added: “I was aware there were a lot of risks and he wasn’t naive about the risks.”

Ian Dale, Mr Dale’s brother, said he was a “very adventurous” man who had received kidnap training and travelled to “extremely dangerous places” on previous humanitarian postings.

Mr Dale told the court he had “full confidence” in the ICRC.

“They kept me fully informed and did everything in their power to bring about a satisfactory outcome,” he added.

Mr Dale, who was born in York and grew up in Manchester, is buried in Glossop.

He was awarded an MBE for his humanitarian work.

The inquest, which is being overseen by Derbyshire’s senior coroner Dr Robert Hunter, continues.

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