A British ex-pat pensioner has been arrested in Spain after his wife was found stabbed to death in an alleged frenzied knife attack in their home.
The British woman made a desperate call to the emergency services to say her husband had attached her at their home in the resort of Benalmadena.
Police arrived at the flat to discover the woman dead in the kitchen-diner with more than 20 stab wounds and her husband lying on their bed.
The 80-year-old man, who has not yet been named, was arrested at the scene and is now being held at the National Police station in Benalmadena.
The dead woman is thought to be a few years younger, with unconfirmed local reports saying was 69.
The alarm was sounded around 10.30pm last night when the woman made a desperate 999 call.
A well-placed source said: “She said she was being stabbed by her husband and police were mobilised along with other emergency responders but found her dead inside the property when they arrived.
“She had been stabbed multiple times, apparently more than 20.”
Another said the suspect was thought to be suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, although there has not yet been any official confirmation.
He is expected to be taken to court in the next 48 hours so he can be quizzed again by a judge in a closed hearing.
The judge will have to decide whether to remand him in prison pending an ongoing investigation or send him to a secure psychiatric hospital if it is confirmed he is suffering from a mental or brain disorder.
The front door of the couple’s one-bed £130,000 first-floor flat was still sealed with police tape this morning with a warning sign that said ‘Do not enter.’
The doorframe was badly-damaged in a clear sign officers responding to the emergency call from the stab victim had tried to force entry.
The couple lived in the 12-storey 1970s apartment block which used to be an apart-hotel and overlooks the promenade at Benalmadena seafront.
A neighbour confirmed that officers responding to the emergency call had made a failed attempt to smash the front door down before gaining access via another entrance at the back.
He added: “They’ve lived here for ages, probably around 30 years.
“I’d heard they were both heavy drinkers and police have been around before to deal with what I presume were domestic disputes.
“A lot of foreigners live in this block and I know they used to help new-arrivals find their feet here.
“I never saw any younger people visiting that might have been relatives and I was told they had already decided to donate their flat to an animal sanctuary when they died.”
Another neighbour said: “I didn’t hear any shouting or arguing before the police arrived.
“They tried to smash the door down but couldn’t get through it and ended up getting in via an entrance round the back.
“It’s so horrific that it’s ended in this way.”
Police confirmed this afternoon that the Brit arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife had been arrested three times in the last few months for domestic violence.
But they said his partner had decided not to press charges which was the reason why no measures were in place to protect her.
A spokesman for the National Police in Malaga said: “In the last few months the suspected killer had been arrested three times for domestic violence.
“According to the police reports he had been diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s.
“His wife decided not to ratify her complaints in court and the cases were archived.
“She never asked for any protective measures.”
Confirming the suspect had not resisted arrest, the police spokesman said: “The victim, a 69-year-old woman rang asking for help.
“After finding it impossible to get into the property, police officers sought assistance from the fire brigade who were also unable to get in via the front door and managed to access the property via the terrace and a fire escape.”