Family's tribute to 'irreplaceable' British embassy worker found 'strangled' in Lebanon following night out

The family of a British embassy worker murdered in Beirut and whose body was found on the side of the motorway, have paid tribute to her, calling her "simply irreplaceable" and saying they would "never recover from this loss".

Rebecca Dykes is believed to have been sexually assaulted and strangled with rope following a night out in Lebanon's capital on Friday.

An Uber driver arrested over the killing and who was traced using CCTV, has admitted attempting to rape the 30-year-old before strangling her with a rope, according to local media reports.

According to reports, the Department for International Development worker had been at a colleague's leaving party in the Gemmayzeh district.

Her body was found east of the capital the following day.

An official said the murder was a "criminal act" and was not politically motivated.

Rebecca Dykes' family have said she was 'simply irreplaceable'. Credit: Family Handout/PA

In an official statement released by the Foreign Office on Monday, the University of Manchester graduate's family said: "For Becky to have her life cruelly taken away in these circumstances is devastating to our family.

"Becky is simply irreplaceable and we will never fully recover from this loss."

The family continued that they are "grateful that the investigation is moving at pace" and thanked the authorities for acting "quickly and thoroughly".

"Becky was genuine, generous, and loving, as anyone who knew her would agree. She was intelligent, ambitious, and dedicated to her work.

"Becky had a love of travelling, and was passionate about helping people.

"She always wanted to make the world a better place - her humanitarian work in Beirut was testament to that."

Lebanese police believe Ms Dykes was strangled. Credit: Family handout

In an earlier statement, Ms Dykes' family had said they were "devastated" by her death.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca.

"We are doing all we can to understand what happened.

"We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time."

The UK embassy in Lebanon said it was "deeply shocked".

Britain's ambassador to Lebanon tweeted his condolences over Ms Dykes's death.

"The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news," Hugo Shorter said.

"My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss."

According to her LinkedIn page, Ms Dykes had been working as a programme and policy manager with the Department for International Development.

She had also been a policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office (FCO).

Before that she was based as an Iraq Research Analyst with the FCO.

The University of Manchester graduate also had a masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London, and was a former pupil of Malvern Girls' College and Rugby school.

A spokesperson for Uber said: "We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can."

The Foreign Office said it was in contact with the Lebanese authorities and confirmed the arrested.

"Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family," an FCO spokesperson said.

"We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time."