A former hotel worker has been sentenced to death by a court in Kenya after being convicted of being in a gang which murdered a British tourist and abducted his wife.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed the death penalty had been imposed on Ali Babitu Kololo, but said it was not expected to be carried out because of a moratorium in place since 1987.

Judith Tebbutt, of Hertfordshire, was held for six months in Somalia after pirates shot her husband David in 2011.

Kololo had been sacked from his job at the resort several months before he guided the kidnappers to the Tebbutts’ villa at a remote resort on an island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago.

He pleaded not guilty at his trial held in the town of Lamu, and said he had been acting under duress.

The Tebbutts, from Bishop’s Stortford, travelled to the resort, close to the Somalia border, after visiting the Masai Mara game reserve.

In an interview with the BBC last week, Mrs Tebbutt said she felt uncomfortable after arriving at the beach resort for a two-week stay as she and her publisher husband were the only guests.

She was awoken by the sounds of her husband struggling with someone in the dark. Then she was jabbed with the barrel of a rifle and dragged down to the beach.

She revealed after her release she remained unaware that the gang had killed her husband for two weeks after she was kidnapped.

Her release came after her family reportedly paid a ransom.