Matt Ford

Matt Ford

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A YOUNG man has been freed in the wake of a 15-hour kidnapping and torture ordeal on the Costa del Sol.

Police swopped on a property in Mijas after a concerned citizen flagged up a video that had appeared on social media.

The footage reportedly showed a man verbally and physically abusing a younger person who appeared to have a number of head injuries.

A brief probe revealed the identity of the attacker, who had previous police records, leading investigators to raid his home.

As they arrived they saw the culprit trying to escape through a window wielding a knife, but when he saw the officers he retreated and barricaded the doors.

A tense standoff ensued, before officers convinced him to release the victim, who had ‘serious head and body injuries,’ and was ‘in shock and disorientated’ according to medics.

He was transferred to the Comarcal Hospital in Marbella for treatment, while police continued to speak with his assailant.

After half an hour of talks he was persuaded to surrender, with a series of videos captured on his mobile phone showing that a second man had been involved in the abduction.

Both men – one Spanish and the other Moroccan – have been charged with kidnapping, attempted murder and crimes against sexual freedom, police said in a statement.

A COUNCIL decision to allow a private company to slaughter abandoned animals has sparked public outcry.

It comes after Marbella City Hall invited bidders for a contract to manage abandoned animals, which includes the option to put down those that are not claimed or adopted after 10 days if they are unable to be identified.

And the move sent social media into meltdown after animal lovers shared the document in their hundreds.

Local animal shelter Triple A - which takes in dogs, cats, ferrets, and Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs - was quick to condemn the proposal, publishing a statement on its Facebook page which demanded the council to ‘reconsider whether to maintain the tender offer under the stated conditions if certain aspects cannot be improved.’

Opposition political groups also slammed the scheme, leading conservative Popular Party mayor Angeles Muñoz to decide that the document would be withdrawn after she appeared alongside Triple A chief Jan Weima for a photoshoot.

But two days later it remained online with companies encouraged to submit their offers.

An official from left-wing coalition Izquierda Unida claimed that the public appearance with Triple A was nothing more than ‘a smokescreen,’ with which the council ‘tried to clean up its image,’ as the social media backlash continued.

THE young British man who fell to his death from a Palma de Mallorca balcony has been named.

James Walton, 23, was on a placement year from Sheffield Hallam University and was killed after a St. Patrick’s Day party with friends.

Doctors say the language student died due to fatal head injuries after plummeting from a fourth floor balcony onto the pavement below.

Originally from Ealing in London, he had been in Mallorca since last September to work as a global loyalty intern at Melia Hotels International.

The placement was part of his Bachelor’s degree in Languages with International Business, of which he was in his third year.

Detectives currently believe that he lost his balance after a heavy drinking session with workmates and friends visiting from the UK.

A post mortem examination took place yesterday.

James’ body was found lying on calle Aragon in Palma city centre by a pedestrian early on Sunday morning.

Medics pronounced him dead at the scene after attempts to revive him failed.

His friends reportedly had no idea that he had fallen until police knocked on the door of their flat.

Investigators are not currently treating the incident as suspicious, and an official confirmed: “At this point in time everything is pointing towards it being accidental.”

Friends have paid tribute to him via Facebook, with Melia colleague Maja Jaroszewska writing:

“Words can’t describe how heartbroken we feel to have lost you so soon and so unexpected.

“You are forever in our hearts. We will remember you, doing your amazing dance moves and winning dance offs with strangers.

“Thank you for being in my life.”

A Foreign Office official told UK media: “We are in touch with local police and are providing bereavement advice to his family, following the death of a British man in Mallorca.”

INVESTIGATORS have launched a probe after a 22-year-old British man plunged to his death in Mallorca.

The unnamed victim was reportedly drunk and plummeted from a fifth-floor balcony in capital Palma early on Sunday morning.

He had been partying with four friends who had no idea what had happened until officers knocked on the door of the flat on calle Gilabert de Centelles, according to a police statement.

A pedestrian found him unconscious on the pavement around the corner, but medics said he had suffered a heart attack and pronounced him dead at the scene after attempts to revive him failed.

His friends later identified the body before being quizzed by detectives.

He was lying close to the road and it initially appeared that he had been run over but current enquiries suggest that he died from the impact after falling accidentally.

It remains unconfirmed whether he was a holidaymaker or expatriate.

A post mortem examination scheduled for today is set to confirm the cause of death.

THIS is the heartbreaking moment that two lions and a tiger were freed from squalid circus cages in Spain.

The starving animals were covered in bruises and sores and living in wretched conditions with floors covered in excrement.

Their claws had been removed, some had broken teeth and one of the lions had chewed part of its own tail off due to stress.

The emaciated cats were collected from the Circus Francia – also known as Circus Paris – in Murcia by specialists from the APP Primadomus (APP) exotic animal rescue in Villena, Alicante.

It comes after months of negotiations between officials from the circus, local authorities and animal rights groups, with lawyer Raquel Lopez from the DeAnimals law firm acting as mediator.


The circus becomes the third in Spain to offload its live animals, with a pony and a bull among others rehomed.

Pablo Delgado, a big cat expert from APP, said that the “terrible conditions in which the animals, especially the lions, were kept is unfortunately typical in circus rescues.


“They were living in tiny cages, facilities without the legal requirements for a zoo, in the hands of people without the knowledge or proper means to take care of them.”

A video uploaded by his team shows the animals being sedated ahead of their journey to the centre to begin their rehabilitation.


A lioness at the centre in Alicante

WARNING: The following video contains graphic content which some viewers may find distrubing.

A MAMMOTH drugs bust in Spain and Portugal has seen 2.5 tonnes of cocaine worth an estimated €125 million seized and ten people held.

The drugs were packaged into one kilo vacuum-sealed ‘bricks’ and stamped with logos featuring the 1972 Mafia flick The Godfather, including Marlon Brando as mob boss Don Corleone.

Others were decorated with the logos of car brands Mini and Rolls Royce.

Spanish and Portugese police swooped on a Lisbon warehouse where two tonnes were being stored before half a tonne was found in a false floor installed in a car as it travelled just across the Spanish border in Badajoz, Extremadura.

Artur Vaz, chief of Portugal’s anti-narcotics police, said: “The drugs were to go first to Spain and from there to other destinations in Europe.”

Those arrested include nine men and one woman from Spain, Colombia and Poland, confirmed his Spanish counterpart Antonio Duarte, adding that they belonged to a “vast crime gang dedicated to transporting huge amounts of cocaine from Latin America to Europe.”

POLICE are probing the violent stabbing of an Irish expatriate on the Costa del Sol.

The unnamed victim, 37, has been moved from intensive care and is “stable” after being admitted to hospital with a severe head injury and several stab wounds, according to medics.

He was attacked in the basement of his home in the Torremuelle neighbourhood, Benalmadena and was found by his wife “badly wounded and with a trail of blood behind him.”

She and a friend drove him to the nearby Xanit Hospital before she was interviewed by detectives.

He was later transferred to the Carlos Haya Hospital in Malaga City.

Police said in a statement that his partner did not see or hear anything, although neighbours reported seeing a white van pulling away in the wake of the brutal raid.

Investigators initially thought that the attack was related to a robbery but are ‘investigating all options’ as the hunt for the culprit goes on.

WHILE public nudity is legal in Spain, having sex outside the confines of home tends to see randy exhibitionists slapped with a fine.

But a handy website is here to help, mapping thousands of recommended places for an al fresco romp.

In Spanish, a ‘picadero’ is a public spot where kinky couples head for a spot of open air how’s your father.

And the website (my picaderos) has racked up around 12,000 entries after encouraging people to rate and share their favourite sites for a frolic in the great outdoors.

Launched in 2009 by Spaniard Josean, 43, the site allows users to search by location, sexual orientation, privacy, ease of access and, for the voyeurs, how many other people might be around.

Designed for couples rather than doggers or exhibitionists, sites range from picturesque mountainsides to car parks, public toilets and sex party hotels.

And the site has become so popular it now offers guidance in countries including the UK, Portugal, France, Italy and Germany.

In an interview with VICE, Josean said:

“At first, it was just my friends who were suggesting spots and leaving reviews, but the website spread quickly, and soon I had lots of users submitting their favourite places.

“I'm no longer shocked by the places people suggest.

“I've learned that if a building has a bathroom or a changing room, someone has had sex in it.”

A PAIR of drunk British holidaymakers have been held for attacking police at Malaga Airport.

Two officers approached the unnamed men, aged 32 and 35, after they were seen “shouting at other passengers in a threatening manner” at the check-in counters in Terminal 3.

They had been drinking and “spilled liquids all around the terminal” while “picking up and throwing documents they took from different airlines’ counters,” according to a police statement.

And when they were asked for their passports they turned on the policemen, swearing and yelling at them “in an aggressive and defiant tone.”

One even made a throat-slitting gesture with his finger before pushing one of the officers, ending with them being cuffed.

He had a knife in his pocket which he had reportedly been fingering throughout the drama, while the other had a syringe in his jacket.

Both have been charged with assaulting a police officer, but it is unclear if they were allowed to fly back to the UK.

VICTIMS of a Costa del Sol fire which saw 14 people injured say the dramatic incident could have been avoided.

And the furious homeowners are demanding answers from the privately-owned  building’s managers and Junta de Andalucia regional government.

Speaking exclusively with the Euro Weekly News, Alice Gaans from Belgium, who owns a holiday flat, said: “My husband is in hospital so I wasn’t here, but we’ve had no information about how to proceed.

“Our front door is destroyed and the worst thing is that we have been warning about this for the last five years.

“We don’t even know who is to blame for this.”

Alice was speaking from inside the partially-gutted building, since we were permitted to walk in unopposed despite clear dangers, with wires hanging from walls and collapsed ceilings, and no light in the windowless corridors.

Other residents were seen during the visit, many elderly, and some only had the light of their mobile phones to see by, while a group of Dutch holidaymakers congregated outside and were surprised to see us emerge.

“Are we allowed in?” asked one lady. “We’ve had to pay for a hotel to sleep in but we haven’t really been told anything.”

It comes after the blaze ripped through a block of flats in central Fuengirola, forcing the evacuation of 50 residents and leaving the building without electricity.

But those affected say that the room where the flames broke out, which houses the community’s rubbish bins and electricity meter, has been unsafe for years.

They commissioned an independent expert to produce a report in the wake of a smaller fire almost two years ago, and according to local media the study concluded that the room “does not meet the necessary safety conditions.”

The June 2016 document goes on to warn that the space should be shut down “until the existing deficiencies have been remedied,” before recommending that “a state assessment should be carried out by the relevant authorities.”

After reading the report, concerned residents sent a letter to the Junta, with the regional authority reportedly referencing a town council plan to carry out improvements in its reply.

In 2017, the community was informed that the maintenance had been completed, but that electricity firm Endesa had not moved the meter because there was nowhere else to put it.

The Junta then advised that it was Endesa’s responsibility to find a new space, and notified the council about the issue.

Since then, nothing has happened, the residents claim, and ‘now the worst has happened.’

But Anna reckons they first raised the issue in 2013.

“2016? We’ve been warning about this for five years!” she said. “It’s terrible, just terrible.”

The quick response of emergency services has been praised since the dramatic incident, with only one women who slipped while trying to get out of the building through a first floor window hospitalised.

But the telephone number provided online for the apartments connects to a hotel that has no connection to the building and we have thus far been unable to track down the building’s parent company.  


GUTTED: Alice’s front door and hallway ©EWN Media Group

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