POLICE in the Maldives are investigating the death of a Kidlington landlady whose body was found washed up on a beach.

It is understood that Sharon Duval, 42, had been on her honeymoon following her marriage to Nick Duval last year.

Mr Duval is a former chairman of Kidlington Cricket Club, and the couple ran The Highwayman pub in Banbury Road.

Mrs Duval’s body was found at 12.30am on Saturday. No details have been given of the circumstances surrounding her death and Mr Duval was not available for comment.

A statement from the Maldives Police Service said: “A body of a 42- year-old British woman has been found on the west beach of LH Kuredhu Resort. This woman was in the resort on a vacation.

“The serious and organized crime department of Maldives Police Service is investigating this death.”

Mrs Duval’s parents John Stockford, 77, and wife Pauline, 69, said they were told of their daughter’s death on Saturday morning by her first husband Andrew Boyes.

Mum-of-two Mrs Stockford said: “He said he had some bad news and then he told us that Sharon’s body had been washed up on the beach and nobody knew what had caused it.

“We don’t know if Sharon died because of some sort of crime or an accident and we will wait to hear the results of the post mortem.”

“My other daughter, Tracey Edwards, who is 44 and lives in Brize Norton, screamed and dropped the phone when I told her.

“We are devastated to get this news and we want to find out how Sharon died.”

She said she and her husband, of Banbury Road, Kidlington, had not spoken to their daughter for about 10 years following a family row.

She added: “Sharon and I have not talked for years but you can’t turn the clock back.

“We were both in tears when we found out and sat down and tried to talk it through.”

Mr Stockford added: “Sharon was a very strong swimmer when she was a pupil at Gosford Hill School, so it is surprising to hear that she died in these circumstances.”

Mrs Duval has a 16-year-old son, she said.

Mr Stockford, a former driver for Oxford Bus Company, said his daughter worked as a hairdresser in Botley after leaving school but gave it up because the hair lotions irritated her skin.

He added: “Sharon has lived in the village all her life and she will be very well known because she worked at the pub – it would have been her 43rd birthday at the weekend.

“The whole of Kidlington will be shocked by this – people still call it a village and it’s very close-knit.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of a report of the death of a British national in the Maldives and are urgently investigating.”

No-one at The Highwayman would comment.

Gerry McGrath, landlord of the village’s King’s Arms, said: “She was lovely, friendly, happy-go-lucky and very popular in Kidlington. Everyone in the village is really shocked.”