Private Investigator Criminal Investigation Spain

Legal Investigation in Spain
Detective Privado

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Kyle Thain and James Harris, both from Southend, were arrested in Spain and charged with attempted murder. Held in custody without charge, potentially for up to four years, repeated bail applications were refused and they were left in the discomfort of Fontcalent prison

James Harris, Kyle Thain and a third friend spent a week on holiday in Pilar de la Horadada in the Alicante region of Spain. They spent a lot of time on the Cabo Roig strip and became well known in one of the local bars. On the last night of their holiday they went out for the evening, returning by taxi to their apartment. On the same night, two people were allegedly stabbed in a bar 300 metres away. When leaving the next day to return to the UK, Kyle and James were arrested at Murcia airport on a charge of attempted murder as a result of a witness identification. Their friend was allowed to return home

The Spanish judicial system allows for persons arrested for serious crime to be imprisoned without charge for up to 4 years. Five bail hearings were refused, and both Kyle and James remained in Fontcalent Prison. The only evidence in support of their innocence that they could present was their own statements and those of their friend, together with a digital camera, the photographs of which, while not placing them elsewhere at the time of the incident, did support their statements about their movements beforehand

We were asked to investigate, with a view to obtaining evidence that would support their account of their movements. A number of people would be able to give an independent account of their own interaction with the boys, notwithstanding the small matter of identifying them, locating them and interviewing them. A lot of research was conducted from the UK, looking at the bars concerned, the area, people (including the alleged victims) and the potential for exploring new evidence

Their defence was straightforward, but difficult to substantiate; simply, they had not visited the bar where the incident occurred at all, did not meet the victims, or have anything to do with a former incident whereby customers had been allegedly ejected for taking cocaine in the toilets, or the alleged return of those customers for revenge. They did not own or rent a Black Seat Leon seen (and allegedly damaged) when the stabbing occurred, and were at home in the apartment (belonging to a parent) at the time the stabbing occurred

Having researched and met with a number of witnesses in the UK who had been in the area and at locations, we began to build a timeline for not only the accused but also their friend and the victims, in order to substantiate their own account of their movements before and after the incident. A visit was made to the area by three investigators which enabled other evidence to be substantiated, and further witnesses identified as a result of local enquiries there. More witness statements were obtained and other leads gained which would identify further witnesses who had since returned to the UK

An item that had been presented in evidence was a digital camera belonging to the friend who was on holiday with them. This contained some 254 photographs spanning the period of their visit and substantiating their movements. The photgraphs retained time and date properties, however the Police response was that the time and date of the machine could have been altered. Combining examination of the camera with visits to the locations we were able to produce calculations that substantiated the time and date properties and verified the times and dates on the pictures

One of our first actions was to interview the friend who had been on holiday. The only statement taken from him had been a brief one through an interpreter while in Spain. He was able to give an account of where one of the accused had been at the time of the incident, which helped us to build, together with statements of other witnesses whom we researched, identified, located and interviewed, a full account of his movements over a 36 hour period, none of which placed him anywhare near the scene. We obtained a full and comprehensive statement from the friend, however it remained difficult to independently verify

Inconsequential detail is one of the things that lends authenticity to anyone's testimony. A common scene you will see in TV dramas is a suspect stating that he watched television - to which the interviewer will commonly ask what he or she watched. An incidental comment in the friend's statement was that he had been talking with James Harris in their apartment at the time of the incident and that Kyle Thain had been asleep - they had heard him snoring, and the apartment was some 10km distant from the incident scene

While the friends talked, they had been aware of the apartment TV on in the background, and, while they were not watching it, were aware of the film "Three Kings" playing. Given access to the apartment TV, we were able to verify what television channels it could obtain, and, having researched programmes played, verify that this film was shown, and was showing, at the time of the incident, lending credence to their version of events. It is attention to detail such as this that can support one or other version of events

These are just some of the factions of a complex situation, our investigation encompassing many other areas, however after a change of lawyer and with presentation of our evidence at a further bail hearing both of the accused were released on bail, with the restriction that they were to remain in Spain. A few weeks later bail conditions were changed to enable them to both return to the United Kingdom, much to the relief of their friends and family

If you have experienced a similar problem abroad and need our help, please contact us. We have a number of clients based in Spain and have handled practical assignments in Alicante, Ibiza, Majorca, Madrid and Puerto Banus. Our investigators are equipped to deal with all aspects of private investigation regardless of the source or location

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