Sunday, 15 January 2012

Anthony Read was found dead in the sea in the port town of Puerto De La Duquesa

Anthony Read was found dead in the sea in the port town of Puerto De La Duquesa – on the country’s Costa del Sol – the morning after a night out drinking with friends in March last year.

Yesterday, at an inquest, mum and dad Jacqueline Jenkins and Martin Read criticised the investigation into the tragedy carried out by the authorities in Spain.

Anthony, 33,  had visited a number of pubs during the evening and took a taxi back to a pal’s home ten minutes’ drive away in the early hours.

But it is thought he may not have had the correct fare when he arrived and was driven back to the port, between Marbella and Gibraltar. Hours later, his body was found in the water.

Spanish authorities said there had been no signs of violence and that Anthony had drowned, concluding that the death may have been the result of an accident.

But at the inquest in Portsmouth, Anthony’s mother Jacqueline Jenkins hit out at the “vague” report drawn up by local officials as she attempted to piece together what had happened.

Dad Martin Read told the inquest he wanted confirmation from Spanish police that they were satisfied the taxi driver had driven away and was not involved in the tragedy. The inquest also heard how Anthony may simply have fallen in.

However, it remains unclear as to how he came to be in the water.

Coroner David Horsley said it was unlikely Anthony had been robbed as he was still in possession of his wallet and mobile phone when his body was discovered.

But he agreed that he had been faced with a lack of evidence in preparing the inquest.

He told Anthony’s parents: “It is possible that he fell in by accident but I cannot say that that is the most likely scenario because it is possible that he was pushed in – it may have been some kind of simple assault or he may have been trying to evade an assault.”

He added: “If there were any witnesses they did not come forward – or were they asked?”

Mrs Jenkins broke down in tears as she read out tributes to her “kind, thoughtful and wonderful son”, who was working as a financial controller in Gibraltar and was enjoying living in Spain.

In the run-up to his death, Anthony had been studying to become a chartered accountant.

Mr Horsley recorded an open verdict.

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