Squatter freed, despite a horrifying axe attack

A SQUATTER has been released on bail, despite, it is alleged, trying to kill a British expat pensioner with an axe.

The unnamed Moroccan assailant was picked up in a midnight raid after hacking at Michael Devitt, 75, during an

argument with two other squatters.

Witnesses said the former lorry-driver’s arm was “left dangling” after a savage attack in the Aguadulce village, near Sevilla.

“The guy came out of nowhere,” said neighbour Alan McGarva, 70. “He just raised the axe in the air and aimed for his head. There was blood everywhere, and it was


But, by an incredible stroke of fortune, Mr Devitt was able to block the blow with his arm, causing it to break from the impact.

The attacker, later arrested at a nearby squatters’ home, has been charged and will stand trial next year.

“He will face a maximum of just six years for grievous bodily harm,” said Mr McGarva, a former RAF air-traffic controller. “It’s ridiculous… it was surely attempted murder.”

The attack has shocked the British community in the Sierra Sur area of Sevilla province, who are now demanding action be taken against the squatters, who have lived in homes, illegally, on various private urbanisations for nearly five years.

“It’s just not fair,” added McGarva. “We’ve had five years of hell, and these people are destroying homes and bringing down the price of those owned by everyone else.

“Our street has been plagued for years, yet no attempt has been made to rid the village of them by police, or the authorities.”

He claimed that numerous families were squatting in at least six homes in his urbanisation, all of which have been destroyed and boarded up.

“The local Spanish are frightened to do anything against these people, and it is just a matter of time before someone gets killed,” he said.

Mr McGarva said the incident erupted during an argument over a parking space, when two female squatters asked him to move his car from outside his home, so they could park their van.

“They started screaming at me,” he said. “It was nuts.” But

the former prison guard, who was also in the RAF for years, agreed to shift his car, while his neighbour, Mr Devitt, tried to calm the situation.

But as the argument continued, Mr McGarva’s 72-year-old wife, Avril, noticed a man running up the street with something in his hand. “He just came running at Michael and tried to axe him in the head,” she recalled.

Police, accompanied by an ambulance, arrived within 20 minutes, but the axeman had already fled.

He is known locally for causing trouble, having moved into an abandoned home last year.




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