Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Kirsty Maxwell death: Spanish prosecutors believe fall an 'accident'

Kirsty Maxwell on her wedding day Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Kirsty Maxwell, herself recently married, was with a group of friends on a hen party holiday

The family of a Scottish woman who fell to her death from a balcony in Spain have been told by Spanish prosecutors they believe it was an "accident".

Kirsty Maxwell died in mysterious circumstances in Benidorm in 2017 while on a hen party weekend with friends.

Five British men staying at her hotel were investigated by Spanish police but their lawyer says they have been told there is no evidence against them.

Mrs Maxwell's family said they did not accept the case was closed.

The 27-year-old, from Livingston, West Lothian, fell from the 10th floor of Apartamentos Payma in Benidorm on 29 April 2017.

She had travelled to the resort with a group of friends for a hen party celebration.

Mrs Maxwell, who had only recently married, returned to her apartment on the ninth floor in the early hours, and was filmed asleep at about 06:50 on the morning she died.

About an hour later she fell to her death after inexplicably entering an apartment on the floor above which was occupied by five British men.

Joseph Graham, Ricky Gammon, Anthony Holehouse, Callum Northridge and Daniel Bailey - all from Nottinghamshire - denied any involvement in her death and could offer no explanation as to why she entered their apartment.

Image caption Kirsty's father Brian Curry said he and the rest of his family would "not give up"

Brian Curry, Mrs Maxwell's father, said: "From the start we believe the police have been untruthful with us, they have been inept and they have been incompetent.

"The way they have handled a lot of the evidence has been farcical, for example Kirsty's clothes when we found out six months later that they had been burnt. Nobody was taking responsibility for how that happened.

"The CCTV going missing. We asked for 12 hours, they gave us seven minutes, so someone has obviously edited that.

"We have asked about the phones, the men had mobile phones but no-one forensically checked them over but they checked Kirsty's.

"Kirsty is not here so we have to be her voice. We are going to keep going and not give up."

Image caption Kirsty Maxwell fell to her death from a 10th floor balcony

The five men were placed under formal investigation by the Spanish authorities on suspicion of Mrs Maxwell's homicide, although Mr Graham was the only one to be arrested.

They were all allowed to return to the UK after being questioned as part of the long-running court probe.

Their lawyer Roberto Sanchez said they had now been informed there was "no evidence" linking them to Mrs Maxwell's death.

He said the investigation had found Mrs Maxwell may have been affected by alcohol consumed during the previous night, with possible effects including "blurred vision, loss of balance and emotional instability".

Mr Sanchez added that the case had been closed by the judge in Benidorm, but that decision "can be appealed within five days".

'Pushing for answers'

Mrs Maxwell's family said there are many unanswered questions over the circumstances of her death.

David Swindle, a former detective employed by the family to review the case, said they disputed reports the case was now, in effect, closed.

Mr Swindle told the BBC: "The family received a letter last week from the prosecutor in Benidorm, saying that their opinion is that Kirsty's death was an accident.

"The family haven't been told by the judge that the case has been shelved.

"The case is still open and the family are determined to keep pushing for answers.

"There are lines of inquiry that haven't been followed up and they are still pushing for that."

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