A 69-year-old British retiree has been arrested for the suspected murder of his wife in a small Spanish hamlet the couple had moved to just a month earlier.
The man, who has not been named in accordance with Spanish laws, insisted that his 56-year-old wife had simply lost her balance and hit her head on the curb trying to get out of the car outside their Camposol home.
But his wife was allegedly left on the street after the fall and was eventually discovered by neighbors on Sunday. Police who were summoned to the scene then found the man semi-naked and drunk inside the couple’s home, according to Spanish news reports.
Police first believed the man and blamed his inebriation for leaving her outside, but it was soon discovered that the two had recently moved from the town of Caravaca de la Cruz, about an hour away. The victim, while living there, had reported domestic violence since 2007, even gaining a restraining order from her husband in 2014.
It is unclear if Spanish resources were able to sufficiently help the expats, who were apparently non-residents having not updated their status after Brexit.
Tamara Cobarro, a lawyer for the man, has petitioned the court to remove her elderly client from jail pending investigation, but the country’s Equality Minister Irene Montero tweeted that she hoped the case would underscore Spain’s horrific record on domestic violence and femicide.
“We must continue to double efforts in all institutions, work as one and have available all possible tools to protect women,” she said.
The government’s chief advocate against gender violence Victoria Rosell also suggested the system could have saved her. “Our condolences and support for the family and friends of this lady who was a victim of gender violence,” she tweeted. “We have to admit that on occasions the system fails.”