Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Leighton Richardson released from custody after being held since Christmas Eve.

Leighton Richardson arrested in Tenerife after his girlfriend was found dying in a pool of blood at her apartment has been released from custody after being held since Christmas Eve.Before making his bail decision the judge studied police information which – despite earlier reports – said no baseball bat had been found at her flat.
But while investigations continue Leighton Richardson, born in Wrexham and who grew up in Mold, remains a suspect.He has been ordered to report daily to the court at Arona, on the holiday island’s south coast, where the investigating judge in charge of the case is based.Richardson has also had to surrender his passport to the court.
He was arrested in the early hours of Christmas Eve after Lisa McConway, 28, from Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland, was found by police at her flat in the brash resort of Playa de las Americas.She was in a critical condition and had severe bruising to much of her body.She was rushed to hospital but died at 1pm that day.
Reports said police had gone to the flat after neighbours telephoned just after 3am to report a violent row was taking place.The investigating judge decided to grant Richardson “provisional liberty” – the Spanish term for bail – after studying a written report by pathologists following an autopsy.
The experts were reported as concluding Miss McConway, who had a British passport, could have died either as the result of a beating or following a fall, it was reported yesterdayAlthough her injuries were consistent with an attack the autopsy revealed she suffered from a blood clotting condition which could cause extensive bruising as the result of a fall, court sources told local journalists.
Before making his bail decision the judge had also studied a police report which despite earlier reports said that no baseball bat had been found at Miss McConway’s flat.Nor had any witnesses been found to back-up the claim reportedly made by the initial caller a serious row had taken place.But two witnesses had said earlier Miss McConway had been “drinking a lot” and they had seen her “drunk”. The witnesses said she had fallen down opening a gash in her head.For his part Richardson had emphatically denied throughout his time in police custody and later at a closed door hearing in front of the investigating judge he had beaten Miss McConway.
Following Miss McConway’s death Jose Antonio Batista, the Spanish Interior Ministry representative in Tenerife, described the scene which greeted officers at her apartment as a “Dantesque spectacle”.He was quoted as telling local reporters: “All the furniture was overturned and there was blood on the floor and the walls.”
The official also said Miss McConway had telephoned Richardson, who lived elsewhere, at 3am last Wednesday to say she felt unwell. The boyfriend arrived shortly afterwards at her flat.Reports yesterday said the couple’s young son would be handed over to Richardson on his release.

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