Thursday, 24 September 2009

Three men from Merseyside on the run in Spain


Three men from Merseyside are on a top ten most wanted list of suspected criminals on the run in Spain.Crimestoppers are asking for ex-pats' help to trace the men, who they believe have fled to the Costa del Sol.They include 40 year old Paul Walmsley, from Liverpool, who's suspected of supplying heroin and cocaine.Another Liverpudlian making the list is Mark Ronald Brown - a 44 year old who's believed to have led a gang who smuggled class As into the UK.Jody Michael Flynn, 28, from Birkenhead, is wanted on a GBH charge.

Woman who suffered years of abuse has called for her attacker to be brought to justice from his hide-out on Spain’s Costa del Crime.

Woman who suffered years of abuse has called for her attacker to be brought to justice from his hide-out on Spain’s Costa del Crime.Investigators want the public to help them trace 10 “most wanted” fugitives thought to be on the run in the Costa del Sol region, including Martin Smith, 44, of North Shields, who is wanted in connection with the rape of a child aged under 16 and gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16.The 44-year-old is accused of raping and indecently assaulting a girl, under the age of 16, over a period of 10 years.He was arrested by police in North Cumbria after his victim found the courage to speak out about the years of abuse she endured throughout her childhood. But he skipped bail in January last year and has been on the run ever since.Last night, as pictures of Smith and nine other dangerous criminals were being circulated among the British community in Malaga, his victim spoke out about the years of abuse that left her feeling dirty and worthless.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she wanted to see her attacker caught so that he would never put another person through the same ordeal.“It was regular abuse. It made me feel awful, small and dirty, and like I had done something wrong and I was the liar and you don’t think anybody is going to believe you. You think it’s all your fault,” she said. “I felt like I needed to have justice done because otherwise it could happen to other people and I don’t want anybody else to go through what I went through. It wasn’t a life, it was torture.”
Smith, who was born in North Shields, but has travelled around the UK, is wanted in connection with the rape of a child under 16, gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16, indecent assault of a girl under 16 and attempted rape of a girl under 16.
The alleged attacks, on one victim, occurred between 1995 and 2005.

Local council in the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella – an area traumatised by years of corruption involving politicians and residential developers

Local council in the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella – an area traumatised by years of corruption involving politicians and residential developers – is seeking to retrospectively "legalise" 18,000 homes, which are now found to have been built without appropriate construction licences. But three schemes, all close to the water, have not been included in this de facto amnesty and instead face demolition.
They were built since the introduction of the 1988 Coastal Law (called the Ley de Costas) designed to protect the coastline by prohibiting construction within 100 metres of the high-water mark. "These buildings are practically in the sea," says Barbara Wood, a buying agent, who runs The Property Finders in this part of Spain.

love padlocks being placed on the Isabel II bridge which links the city centre to the area of Triana.


Sevilla is a pretty romantic place, but the City Hall says it no longer wants to see love padlocks being placed on the Isabel II bridge which links the city centre to the area of Triana.The idea of couples placing a padlock on a fence or bridge is thought to have started in the 80’s in Pécs, Hungary, and has proved very popular in Sevilla where many couples have placed their locks thinking that they would never be opened.But the City Hall considers the padlocks damage the aesthetics of the bridge and have removed more than 1,000 of them already.
Público reports that locals are divided on the move.
‘Is the love represented by the lock broken?’, they ask.
The Municipal Junta for the Triana district has made up its mind and on Wednesday placed a motion that the padlocks be taken away every 15 days. They note that the Triana bridge is the only one in the city declared to be a Monument of Cultural Interest

Benalmádena bullfighter, Josélito Otega, says he’s not worried that many will think he is gay.


Benalmádena bullfighter, Josélito Otega, says he’s not worried that many will think he is gay. There’s little more macho in Spain than the world of the matador, but now that is set to change as Josélito Otega has accepted the sponsorship on his pink cape, of the new ‘Gay Up’ energy drink brand. Not only is it the first time that sponsorship has appeared on a bullfighter’s cape in Spain, but the product itself is sure to lead to a great deal of additional publicity. The 'Gay Up' company is Colombia based, but it is a Málaga company which has the franchise in Spain. They had previously tried to The 'Gay Up' energy drink
sponsor Málaga football team, but the attempt reportedly floundered in prejudice, and quite how Spain’s ‘National Fiesta’ responds to this new 21st century challenge remains to be seen. The purists are not likely to be happy.Gay Up’s Chairman, José María Terrón, told El Mundo that the bullfighting world should open up to the gay market, to renew itself and survive.José Otega himself told the press, ‘I am a bullfighter. That is not going to change. I am going to go out into the ring as I have done until now, to risk my life, and the seven goring wounds on my body prove that,’ he said. ‘If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine.’

Religious beliefs cannot be above civil law


witness called before the National Court in Spain on Wednesday in a case where nine alleged Islamists were in the dock, facing allegations of sending Mujahidin to carry out suicide attacks in Iraq, has been expelled from the court by Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez, after she refused to lift or remove her burka.Before expelling her from the chamber the judge explained that in Spanish courts it is obligatory to declare with the face uncovered, and at the end of the session he called her to his office, with the prosecutor, Dolores Delgado. After some debate the witness has agreed to attend the court again on Monday, wearing her burka, but lifting it to show her face to the judge, but with no cameras and no public.The woman is the sister of Hassan Hssisni, a suicide bomber who carried out his attack in Iraq in January 2005.The judge commented that ‘Seeing her face I can see if she is lying or not, or if any question surprises her or not’. He said that he did not want to charge her with disobedience, but underlined that religious beliefs cannot be above civil law.

Javier Rodrigo de Santos, former town planning councillor, spent more than 50,000 € of public money

ex Partido Popular councillor found guilty of misuse of municipal funds in Palma de Mallorca has been sentenced to two years in prison, for using the City Hall credit card to pay for sex and cocaine.Javier Rodrigo de Santos, former town planning councillor, spent more than 50,000 € of public money between 2005 and 2007 and claimed at his trial that he only went to the alternative night clubs to buy the cocaine. In fact, his addiction to drugs formed a strong part of his defence and EFE reports that Judge Carlos Izquierdo took that into account in deciding the length of the sentence. Also key was the fact that de Santos has paid back the money he spent to Palma City Hall.In addition to the prison term, he gets a four year ban from public office.

Electrical storm in Els Poblets blew an enormous hole in the roof of the Swiss couple’s house

Swiss couple with a holiday home in Els Poblets were fortunately away in Switzerland for the summer when their house was hit by lightning. A German woman who looks after the property while the owners are away visited the house on Wednesday and told Diario Información that she is convinced they would have been dead if they had been inside when the house was hit.The electrical storm in Els Poblets blew an enormous hole in the roof of the Swiss couple’s house, lifted up the floor with the impact and the fire it caused destroyed all the furniture inside.Its understood the owners had renovated the property only recently.

Council meeting in Estepona has approved abolishing three local taxes under the austerity plan presented by opposition Partido Popular councillors

Council meeting in Estepona has approved abolishing three local taxes under the austerity plan presented by opposition Partido Popular councillors which, while good news for the pockets of the people of Estepona, will have a serious effect on the municipal purse.The local tax councillor, Francisca Bernal, told Europa Press that the move approved by the opposition, which has a majority in the local corporation, will reduce Town Hall income by around 20 million € next year: 18 million € in the abolished rubbish collection tax, a further 1.5 million € in the drainage tax and the remainder in opening licences granted to new businesses.Most of that income would normally have been spent on paying Town Hall salaries, the councillor said.
The opposition move is being seen by some of the press as a continued attempt by the Partido Popular to achieve the dissolution of the Town Hall.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Armed robbers in Ronda

Police in Ronda are examining CCTV footage to identify the three armed robbers who got away with 300 euros after raiding a BP petrol station on the Campillos road some three kilometres away from Ronda. According to the 46 year old shop assistant who was working at the time, three armed individuals burst into the shop and demanded the contents of the till. They got away with only 300 euros as the petrol station’s policy is keep no more than that amount in the till, while the rest is put into a safe to which employees do not have access. The shop assistant and a customer who was filling up at the time told the police that the three suspects made off in an Opel Corsa driven by a getaway driver.

British director, Michael Radford, has started shooting in Córdoba for his film, ‘La Mula’

British director, Michael Radford, has started shooting in Córdoba for his film, ‘La Mula’ – ‘The Mule’, his movie on the last months of the Civil War. Adapted from the book of the same name by the author from Jaén, Juan Eslava Galán, it’s a true life story which tells the tale of a young soldier who comes across a mule in the middle of a battlefield.He decides to keep the animal so he can take it home with him at the end of the war and allow him to earn a living for his family.The joint production by Spain, Britain and Ireland stars Mario Casas as the young soldier and is budgeted with 7 million €.

Motion of censure will oust the Benidorms Partido Popular Mayor, Manuel Pérez Fenoll.

Partido Popular Mayor claims in an open letter to the people of Benidorm that the motion against him is based on liesThis Tuesday is expected to see the end of 16 years of Partido Popular government in Benidorm, when, saving any last minute surprises, a motion of censure will oust the town’s Partido Popular Mayor, Manuel Pérez Fenoll.It was presented by the 12 Socialist councillors at the Town Hall – who have since resigned from the party – and a ‘turncoat’ PP councillor, José Bañuls, who left the ranks of the Partido Popular in June and is now a non-affiliated councillor. El País reports that he hopes to stand as Iniciativa Benidorm’s candidate for Mayor in the 2011 local elections.The candidate for Mayor on this occasion is Agustín Navarro, who until the mass resignation from PSOE after the motion was presented on 11th September was Socialist spokesman at Benidorm Town Hall. La Verdad newspaper reports that he and his 12 fellow councillors have checked into an undisclosed hotel from this Sunday night, where they will remain until the vote takes place on Tuesday.It’s a strategy which opposition councillors in Marbella, Málaga province, also followed in 2003 in the motion which ousted Julián Muñoz from the local Town Hall and elected Marisol Yagüe in his place.Manuel Pérez Fenoll claimed in an open letter to the people of Benidorm printed in ABC newspaper this Sunday that the motion against him is based on lies, predicting that the 2011 municipal poll will, he said, ‘return everyone to their proper place’.

Friend of the 16 year old Spanish girl, Celeste, found dead in her doorway in Valencia early on Saturday has been arrested


Friend of the 16 year old Spanish girl, Celeste, found dead in her doorway in Valencia early on Saturday has been arrested in connection with the teenager’s death. He is understood from the Levante newspaper to be one of the two friends who accompanied her home after attending a botellón street drinking party on Friday night and stayed talking with her in the doorway after the other youngster left at around 2.30 am on Saturday.There are unconfirmed reports that the victim was raped and is believed to have died after hitting her head on the steps at the first floor landing where her body was found.The other friend who was with the teenager before she died told the newspaper that the man in custody, named as Braulio M.R. was born in Colombia and adopted by Spanish parents and had no relationship with the teenager other than their friendship.An autopsy is expected to be carried out on Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

Juan Carlos Benavides faces a possible payout of more than 30,000 Euro over comments he made about a Socialist councillor

The Convergencia Andaluza Mayor of Almuñécar, Juan Carlos Benavides, faces a posible payout of tens of thousands of euros in a slander case which will be heard by Criminal Court No. 1 in Motril in December.The case comes to court after legal action taken by the Socialist Party’s former spokesperson at the Town Hall, Rocío Palacios, over insulting comments the Mayor made about her during a council meeting on 31st January 2006. Benavides suggested at the meeting that Palacios had climbed the political ladder only because of an ‘intimate relationship’ he claimed she had with her party’s provincial secretary, Francisco de la Chica.He also called her a ‘zorra’ – a tart.The prosecution service sees the Mayor’s words as seriously affecting the two Socialist politicians’ family lives, as the press, as they are for each council meeting, were present at the Town Hall meeting. EFE reports the Mayor faces a possible fine of 21,600 € and, in addition to that, 10,000 € compensation to the two politicians.The controversy over the insult led the Mayor to resign from the Partido Andalucista over what he said was a lack of support from provincial party leadership, joining, with most of his P.A. councillors, the new party, Convergencia Andaluza, in March 2006.

Trial starts of two British men, named as Richard Henry Roberts, 35, and Anthony Griffths, 22,

Trial starts of two British men, named as Richard Henry Roberts, 35, and Anthony Griffths, 22,who are accused of killing another Briton, 26 year old Daniel Hastelow, and breaking into his home in Magaluf on Mallorca in January this year.The attack came at 4am on the morning after the victim’s birthday in an apartment in Calle Contra almirante Riviera in Magaluf, but an argument had started before that in a local pup. This allegedly led the attackers to go to the home of the victim, armed with a baseball bat and knife. The victim was stabbed several times and the two suspects were arrested at Palma airport afterwards when trying to flee Mallorca. They have been held in prison on remand since January 15 this year.A statement from the Supreme Court said that the case will get underway at 9,30am this morning with the selection of the jury, and is expected to continue in both morning and afternoon sessions until Wednesday.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

John David W.S. He faces a six-month sentence and a two-year ban from his profession

Partido Popular Mayor of Sorbas faces a possible six months in prison and a 7-year ban from public office for granting planning permission for a development in a protected area of the Sierra Cabrera. The building licence was granted in 2006 for 3 new homes on a plot in Los Pérez, which the prosecution service claims Mayor José Fernández was fully aware was classified as land unsuitable for development.
Other suspects in the case are the municipal technician who drew up the report recommending the licence could be granted, the project’s technical director and the property developer for the three homes. This last is a British man who is named by Europa Press as John David W.S. He faces a six-month sentence and a two-year ban from his profession, as well as having to share the 9,400 € cost of demolishing the illegal construction with his technical director.The construction project had not got past the foundations stage when the prosecution service ordered the building licence to be annulled last year.
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Family of murdered Seville teenager accuse suspects of desecrating the body

Parents of Marta del Castillo, the 17 year old who disappeared in Seville this January, were greeted with applause by the crowd waiting outside Instruction Court No. 4 in the city this Wednesday morning, as they arrived to hear the four accused in their daughter’s death formally informed of the charges against them.Inside the court, the private accusation brought by Marta’s parents added an additional charge against the four adult suspects in the case: desecration of the teenager’s body, which an intensive search has been unable to locate. Her self-confessed murderer, Miguel Carcaño, first claimed her threw the body in the Guadalquivir River, then changed his story to dumping it in a rubbish bin near the flat on Calle León XIII where Marta died.The family’s lawyer charges Carcaño with murder and rape, with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. The other three suspects –his friend, Samuel Benítez, and his elder brother, Francisco Javier Delgado, and María García, Delgado’s girlfriend – are charged by the family with covering up the crimes.The fifth suspect, a youngster known as ‘El Cuco’, is to be tried by a juvenile court.
Security was tight as the four suspects arrived at court on Wednesday, and it’s understood that police had to intervene to protect Delgado and his girlfriend as they left the court to stop them being assaulted by the crowd.Miguel Carcaño remained inside after the other suspects left the building, making a statement to the judge at his own request.El Mundo reports that Carcaño told the judge that he did not rape Marta, but that he did kill her with an ashtray, thus returning to his first version of his confession.

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