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British couple shot dead in Spanish villa

Sky News logo Sky News 30/03/2015
Peter Tarsey © Sky News Peter Tarsey

A murder investigation has been launched after a British couple were found shot dead in their villa near Benidorm, Spain.

Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said the couple, aged 77 and named by Spanish police as Peter and Jean Tarsey, were found dead in the villa in Xalo at around 4pm on Sunday.

He said: "Yesterday they were expecting dinner guests. Last night the guests got into the villa and found them, it's been described to me locked in each other's arms on the sofa.

"Both of them had been shot dead by a small calibre gun. Police say that various gunshots had been fired."

The Guardia Civil said post-mortem examinations have not yet been completed, but they are believed to have been killed in the last few days.

The couple, known to have been residents in Spain for 18 years, had no known criminal history and "had not been doing anything strange", according to police. Reports in Spanish media said they had been living in the area for 22 years.


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Officers said there was no sign of forced entry and the case is being treated as homicide. A TV was found to be missing in the property and a computer had been thrown into the swimming pool.

© PA

A spokeswoman for the Guardia Civil said: "At around 4.15pm yesterday, some friends of the couple went to their villa because they had not been seen for a few days.

"They found the door was open and there were no signs of a break-in.

"The couple, who had been living in Spain for 18 years, were found dead with gunshot wounds on the sofa.

"The Guardia Civil is now awaiting the results of post-mortem examinations and investigations continue."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm the death of two British nationals in Alicante, Spain.

"We stand ready to provide consular assistance."

Xalo mayor Joan Miquel Garces told Spanish media that the friends who raised the alarm "used to go round for lunch every Sunday".

Mr Tarsey is a former Olympic diver who competed for Great Britain at the 1956 games in Melbourne, Australia.

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