Gary Vigors' Majorca death: 'Painful journey' for family

  • 26 July 2013
  • From the section England
Gary Vigors
Image caption Gary Vigors was part of a close-knit family, his father said

A man whose son was fatally stabbed outside a Spanish bar in 2011 said the last two years had been a "long, long and painful journey".

Gary Vigors, 42, of Essex, was killed in Magaluf, Majorca, by Northampton man Thomas Swanell. He was jailed for murder in May.

On Thursday, the Essex coroner, sitting in Chelmsford, ruled that Mr Vigors had been unlawfully killed.

His father, David, said now the family might be able to "move on".

"It was difficult yesterday, and I guess it's good that it's done," he said.

"It's the last tick in the box."

Coroner's concern

Gary Vigors, a Lloyds Banking Group IT manager who lived on the same street as his father and mother, Pat, in Dovercourt, Harwich, had a partner and a young daughter.

He had been asked to go to Majorca for the weekend in March 2011 to provide some younger company for his boss on his father's birthday break.

He had only been on the island a matter of hours when he was stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle by Swanell, a 46-year-old scaffolding company owner from Wellingborough Road in Northampton.

Swanell was jailed for six years, minus the two years he had already spent on remand, by the Palma de Mallorca court.

During the inquest, Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray had expressed her concern that the length of time it had taken for the case to come to an inquest had been "extremely difficult" for the family.

But Mr Vigors, a retired Essex Police officer, said he did not blame anyone for the fact it had taken so long.

"I knew before that you can't take a case to inquest until any criminal proceedings have been completed - it's normal for it to take a long time.

Image caption Gary Vigors died outside Plaza Cafe in Magaluf on his first night on Majorca

"I have no problems with our coroner's court [in Essex] and the way it was handled.

"They were excellent and kept us up to date with what was happening."

But he said it was a different story when it came to the Spanish authorities.

"The Spanish system isn't good for people like ourselves - I mean, it took two years for the case to get to trial.

"It took us ages and ages to get any information from Spain when this first happened, we had to employ our own Spanish solicitor - it was the only way for us to know what was going on."

Mr Vigors said he welcomed the new code of standards for coroners which meant most inquests in England and Wales would be completed within six months.

But he doubted the timescale would work for cases involving criminal proceedings.

"In normal cases, yes I can see they could be done and dusted within six months," he said.

"But in case involving anything criminal, you still have to get the proceedings out of the way."

More on this story