British expat retiree in Spain almost killed by axe wielding squatter

Published:  29 May at 6 PM
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A British retiree living in a small Spanish town in Sevilla province almost lost his life when he was attacked by an axe-wielding squatter during an argument.

The British expat community living in the Sierra Sur area are shocked by the attack on 75-year old Michael Devitt, although they’re not surprised as squatters have illegally taken over a number of homes on local private developments in Aguadulce over the last five years. The incident which developed into the attack began when two female squatters ordered Devitt to move his car from the front of his house as they wanted to park their van.

According to retired neighbour Alan McGarva, a witness to the attack, a man came out of nowhere brandishing an axe and aiming it at Devitt’s head. The victim attempted to block the blow by raising his arm, which broke as a result of the violent impact. McGarva told local reporters the incident was horrific, with blood everywhere. Later, the assailant was arrested at a squatted property by local police, charged and is due to stand trial next year.

Former RAF air traffic controller McGarva told reporters the assailant will be sentenced to just six years in jail for committing grievous bodily harm rather than being charged with attempted murder and put away for a considerably longer term. The local expat community is now insisting action is taken against the squatters, who’ve invaded several private urbanisations over the past five years and are making legitimate homeowners’ lives hell by destroying empty properties and devaluing house prices in the area.

According to McGarva, neither the police nor the local authorities have attempted to get rid of the illegal occupants, and local Spanish people are too scared to take them on. The belief amongst the expat community is that it’s just a matter of time before a murder is committed. In Devitt’s and McGarva’s street, 10 homes are now in the hands of the squatters, although the local mayor insists there are only three in the entire town.
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