A BRITISH motorist has criticised the Guardia Civil after being detained for hours over an escalating set of trumped-up charges.
Jonathan Adshead, 45, is furious after being accused of a litany of crimes including knocking over a cyclist and talking on the phone, but only finally being fined for failing to indicate correctly, an offence he strongly denies.
The motor dealer, a regular visitor to Spain, is now planning to sue the force after he was told to pay the €100 fine or spend ‘at least a night’ in the cells.
He and his wife Carmel from Lancashire have just ended a rental contract in Mijas and have decided to move back to the UK permanently because of the incident.
It comes after they insist they were ‘very aggressively’ treated by the police over a three hour period on October 19.
“We now see the whole thing as absolute corruption – we were gobsmacked,” he added.
The couple – who have been visiting Spain for decades – were driving out of Mijas pueblo when a Guardia Civil police car pulled them over.
They were initially told that they had failed to indicate at a roundabout, but when they denied the charge, things turned nasty.
The officer became furious, ignoring their attempts to cooperate and insisted that teh came to the station for more questioning.
“When I came over with my phone, so he could speak to the insurance company, he knocked it out of my hand,” explained Adshead. “I couldn’t believe it.”
They spent the next three hours at the station being questioned by four different officers, who continually invented new charges.
Describing it as a ‘fishing exercise’ he said: “They assumed a couple of Brits, leaving a small village at lunch time would have been drinking – I think they thought it was a sure bet – but when the breathalyser showed all zeros they just about blew the roof off the place.”
It was at that point they alleged that he had hit a cyclist, threatened to compound his car and arrest him for the night.
When he was accused of talking on his mobile while driving he showed them his call history, which proved that he had not been on it since the morning.
“They kept coming up with new charges. The police said, ‘pay up, or it’s really not going to be a good weekend for you.
“They might as well have put a menu in front of us and said, ‘choose what you want to pay for’.”
Eventually they managed to get a Spanish friend to speak to the police, who advised them to pay up, or face something worse.
They were told they had to pay a €200 fine for not indicating, which would be reduced to €100 if they paid it on the spot.
Olive Press legal expert Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, said the police would never have let Adshead off with a fine if he had in fact hit a cyclist.
He said, “If he had hit a cyclist he would have surely been arrested. The fine indicates just that, a failure to indicate correctly when turning. Nothing surprises me.”
Unsurprisingly the incident has left a bad taste in the mouth of the motor dealer. “I’ve come to Spain since I was twelve years old and we have been coming every five or six weeks,” he said. “This has really put us off the place.”