EXCLUSIVE by Amie Keeley
THE family of a man who drowned while on holiday in Puerto Banus are demanding an investigation into his death.
They insist the police made no effort to discover why tax consultant Mark Thompson, 38, might have fallen into the marina in November.
This is despite the fact that the father-of-one, from Belfast, may have been robbed of around 100 euros on the night.
His body was found floating face down after a quiet night out with friends. A post mortem confirmed he had not drunk heavily.
It was his first weekend break away from his fiance Sonia and son Max, 3.
“Police just treated it like he was another drunken teenager,” said his sister-in-law Joeann Dawson. “They just were not interested.”
According to friends Jeff Angus and Ross Cunning, Mark had gone off to look for something to eat after they had watched a football game in a pub. But when they returned to their hotel an hour later, their friend was still not back.
“A few hours later police knocked on our door demanding to see our passports, before telling us Mark had died,” Ross told the Olive Press.
“They then walked away without giving any further details,”
The friends were left to ask nearby restaurant owners and marine security to see if they could piece together what had happened.
One Italian restauranteur told them he had seen Mark sitting on a wall eating a pizza.
He told them how Thompson had suddenly disappeared and when he went over to look he saw his body floating in the water and so called marine security.
The next morning, when Ross asked police why they had not contacted or questioned anybody from the scene, the leading officer just shrugged.
“The complete lack of compassion from the police was unbelievable,” he said. “At the time I was just so shocked with the death but looking back it was appalling police behaviour.”
Most crucially, when the men gave their statements four days later they were told no money was found on Mark even though he was carrying around 100 euros.
“He definitely had that money, so someone must have taken it,” insisted Ross.
To make matters worse, when the financier’s fiancee flew out to Spain, she was forced to wait for four days before she could see his body.
When she did, it was in the middle of a busy corridor in the morgue.
“It is a total disgrace,” said sister Joeann. “I think the police just viewed him as another drunken holiday maker and didn’t want to be bothered with anymore work.
“The fact that no effort was made to resuscitate him when he was found in the water and no witness statements were sought makes his death suspicious.
“But even if his death was purely accidental, the police’s response and the way Sonia was treated is a disgrace.
“Mark was the most sensible person, I know. He was quiet, friendly and personable. It is so awful what happened.”
Marbella police declined to comment when contacted by the Olive Press.
Despite numerous enquiries to the town hall and police, nobody was able to give us statistics on the number of deaths in the port.