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Gibraltar family stabbing update

Investigations into the violent death of an entire family in their Gibraltar home point to the murderer being the mother. It appears from the forensic evidence that her husband died having died trying to shield their small children from the attack.

British national John Shannon, 31, from Liverpool and his 37-year-old wife Anarda de la Caridad Pérez Friman - originally Cuban but a Spanish citizen - her unnamed four-year-old daughter from a previous relationship with Danish national Rene Kristtoffersen, and John and Anarda's six-week-old baby daughter Eve were found stabbed to death in an apartment they had borrowed from a friend in the Boschetti's Steps area of the Rock.

The family had lived in Estapona, in the province of Málaga for some years and were on holiday for a few days in Gibraltar, according to police in the British enclave, and had planned to go back to the UK for a trip to introduce the new baby to the family.

Top UK Home Office pathologist Nathaniel Carey, who travelled from London to perform the autopsies, confirms John's fatal injuries were sustained when he tried to protect the two little girls from their knife-wielding mother. He and the children sustained mortal wounds to the neck. Anarda, after killing all three of them, slit her wrists, the pathology report claims.

Sources close to the family - including Kristtoffersen, who lives on the Costa del Sol - claim Anarda was suffering from post-natal depression and was given to psychotic episodes.

The Royal Gibraltar Police said at the time of the gruesome discovery that they 'were not looking for anyone else' in connection with the crime. This initially led the Spanish press to jump to conclusions that the wife had become a victim of gender violence, largely due to three other high-profile cases of marital murder having hit the headlines that week.

But the reality, say detectives, was the other way round - it was the husband who had lost his life in a horrific episode of domestic violence.

The family were found when their friend who had lent them the apartment, an Australian man, returned home with his young children and saw blood seeping out from under the door. When he tried to get into his rented flat, Anarda's body was blocking the entrance.

Officers called out to the crime scene were said to be so distressed they needed counselling afterwards, which was provided by the Gibraltarian government, led by Chief Minister Fabián Picardo QC. Speaking of the tragedy, Picardo said that 'as a husband and father', he was 'in total shock'.

Gibraltar had not been the scene of a murder in nearly five years until then.

Police said the circumstances of the Gibraltar case 'appeared pretty cut and dried' before Dr Carey examined the bodies, but that it was 'standard procedure' to conduct an autopsy before a verdict was passed.

Postpartum depression is reported to affect between one in 10 and one in seven new mothers, but the UK's Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British charity Pre- and Post-Natal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS) say post-natal psychosis, which is what Anarda was said to be suffering from, is extremely rare. Statistics show that it affects fewer than one in 1,000 women.

 

Mireille Toddington

Bitesize Torrevieja

Fire close to the Semana Santa Museum

After the excitement and spectacle of the Easter parades in Torrevieja we are reminded of  the potential that an out of control barbecue might have. A barbecue in a house neighbouring the Semana Santa Museum set fire to some cypress trees in the patio behind the museum.

Bite Sized News Orihuela

Trafico Talk

The Guardia Civil will be hosting a presentation at Playa Flamenca Town Hall on Thursday 23rd April. The talk will begin at 10am for English speakers and 11am in German. The subject will focus on the new regulations concerning Spanish residents holding European driving licences.

Booking is advisable as there are only 80 places and so it will be first come, first served. Places can be reserved through the Foreign Residents Office.

Alicante airport affected by French air traffic control strike

Vueling cancelled four flights between Alicante and Paris and Ryanair cancelled 44 which would use French airspace, some on their way to Britain during the recent strike action by French air traffic controllers.
The Ryanair cancelled flights were heading to or from Liverpool, Bremen, East Midlands, Leeds, Dublin, Katowice, Birmingham, Shannon, Dusseldorf, Nuremburg, Maastricht and Manchester.

Adios Paul

Eagle eyed readers will have noticed a new name appearing in the pages of the CoastRider recently.  Our new reporter Suzanne O’Connell joins us to replace Paul Mutter who is (we hope) happily enjoying retirement with his wife Jennie.  Paul joined the CoastRider team in early 2008 and has been an invaluable member of the team ever since.  His precise and insightful journalism, coupled with his stunning photographic talents ensured that Paul was held in very high regard both by his colleagues and peers in the media, but also in local political and business circles.

We would like to wish Paul much happiness in his very well earned retirement, he will be missed by all of the team here – myself especially as he was such a pleasure to work with.  A kind, honest and hardworking man with high moral and intellectual values.

As they say, when one door closes, another opens and it is my great pleasure to introduce Suzanne.  A Torrevieja resident and experienced writer, Suzanne takes the reins from Paul and has already hit the ground running, providing us with local news and information for the Torrevieja area.

If you have a news story to share, contact Suzanne directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , call her on 635 895 563.   You can also call our newsdesk on 966 70 10 60.

Adios Paul

Eagle eyed readers will have noticed a new name appearing in the pages of the CoastRider recently.  Our new reporter Suzanne O’Connell joins us to replace Paul Mutter who is (we hope) happily enjoying retirement with his wife Jennie.  Paul joined the CoastRider team in early 2008 and has been an invaluable member of the team ever since.  His precise and insightful journalism, coupled with his stunning photographic talents ensured that Paul was held in very high regard both by his colleagues and peers in the media, but also in local political and business circles.

We would like to wish Paul much happiness in his very well earned retirement, he will be missed by all of the team here – myself especially as he was such a pleasure to work with.  A kind, honest and hardworking man with high moral and intellectual values.

As they say, when one door closes, another opens and it is my great pleasure to introduce Suzanne.  A Torrevieja resident and experienced writer, Suzanne takes the reins from Paul and has already hit the ground running, providing us with local news and information for the Torrevieja area.

If you have a news story to share, contact Suzanne directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , call her on 635 895 563.   You can also call our newsdesk on 966 70 10 60.

A song for Ciarán

Local musicians and ‘jammers’ will be gathering on Thursday 16th April at the Marina Bar, Torrevieja (behind the fire station) for a musical tribute to the late Ciarán Delaney.  Ciarán tragically passed away last month and it is the hope of organizers that funds raised at the event this week will go towards helping his widow and three children.

The event begins at 1pm and continues right through the day with music, a raffle and other fun.  Attendees can have their photo taken with the ‘world cup’ the ‘FA cup’ and the ‘Champions League’ trophy and there will be food and drinks available all day.

For more information, phone Shay Kinsella on 649 03 26 74.

Useful Numbers - Torreveija

  • Emergency 112
  • Guardia Civil 062
  • Policía Local 092
  • Policía Nacional 091
  • Hospital 965 721 200
  • Samaritans 902 883 535

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Useful Numbers - Benidorm

  • Emergency 112
  • Guardia Civil 062/ 965854030
  • Policía Local 092/ 966 807 766
  • Policía Nacional 965 855 308
  • Hospital 900 223 344
  • Samaritans 902 883 535