IT is every parent’s nightmare to discover that their son has died and to receive this terrible news when you are thousands of miles apart makes it even worse.
This is the case of Dudley and Sharon Barton who live in Manchester and were horrified to receive a phone call from Spanish police to report the death of their 30-year-old son Carl in Estepona on the night of June 15.
To make matters worse, press observations have suggested that he was a mentally deranged drug taker who had caused problems for neighbours which is so far removed from how they knew their son.
Often parents are blind to the activities of their children but according to Dudley who was speaking to Euro Weekly News, there was absolutely no history of mental illness and Carl was not known by the family or friends to be heavily into drugs.
Apart from the initial telephone call from the Spanish authorities, there has been no further communication and he and Sharon were relying on the British Embassy in Madrid to try to identify what really happened as at the moment all they know is what they have read (and find hard to believe) online.
The fact is that Carl was a self-employed electrician who worked in both Spain and the UK and had travelled to Estepona at the beginning of the year to undertake contracting work but was then caught in the State of Alarm and lockdown.
He was known to his next door neighbour who may be charged with manslaughter and had indeed done some installation work for him, but according to Mr Barton there was no evidence of problems between them and in their most recent telephone call his son was upbeat saying that he hoped to be home by July 3.
As we were talking, our conversation was interrupted as Mr Barton was being called by the British Consulate in Malaga City and one of their representatives has now offered to accompany the couple to meet with investigating officers if they can get to Spain as quickly as possible.
Naturally, the family are still in shock but intend to travel as soon as they can and then either arrange for the funeral or decide if the body should be repatriated.
In the meantime however, they are anxious to ensure that speculation doesn’t tarnish the memory of their son.