John Terry, 65, was discovered with a cord and an item of clothing tied around his neck outside his house in Mount Carey on Wednesday.
The British official, who worked as a magistrate on the island and had been appointed MBE in the early 1990s, had also been severely beaten. A trail of bloodstains was found throughout his property.
Last night David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, led tributes to Mr Terry, who was described as a loving father and a key member of the diplomatic team in the Caribbean.
He said: “Honorary consuls like John play a valuable role in our work overseas and this was especially true of John, who helped many, many British visitors to Jamaica over the years.”
Police believe that Mr Terry, who was married but separated from his wife, knew his attacker. There were no signs of forced entry at the property.
However, it is believed that the killer stole his wallet and mobile telephone in an attempt to make it appear as though a robbery had gone wrong. Police would not say whether Mr Terry’s murder was thought to be linked to his work as a Justice of the Peace but they were investigating the possibility that the attack might have been homophobic after a handwritten note on his body described him as a “batty man”, local slang for a homosexual. The note also said: “This is what will happen to ALL gays.” It was signed: “Gay-Man”.
The former hotel manager had worked in the island’s tourism trade for more than 30 years. At the time of his death he was working at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, a resort popular with British and American tourists.
His murder has shocked diplomats, the business community and the tourism industry on the island. According to sources there, Mr Terry was well known for being highly effective and considerate when dealing with British nationals requiring consular assistance.
Mr Terry, a native of New Zealand, was appointed a Member of the British Empire by the Queen in 1993. He has a brother living in Britain. His estranged wife is believed to live in Kingston, Jamaica.
Les Green, Jamaica’s Assistant Commissioner for Police and a former British police officer, told The Times that he believed Mr Terry knew his killer. “This seems to be somebody who knew John Terry. There were no signs of forced entry. Whoever did this knew John Terry and he would have admitted them to the house.”