Murder mystery in Sotogrande: what really happened in the luxury resort and why?

The world’s media descended on the Costa del Sol last week to investigate the killing of an alleged paedophile by a British expat father-of-three. But, as the Olive Press reports, there is a lot more to the case than meets the eye. By Imogen Calderwood, Rob Horgan, Tom Powell and Iona Napier

LAST UPDATED: 18 Feb, 2015 @ 12:42
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OLIVE PRESS EXCLUSIVE:  First picture of one-punch expat 'Victor' Kainth who killed alleged German paedophile in Spain. Copyright: www.theolivepress.es
OLIVE PRESS EXCLUSIVE: First picture of one-punch expat ‘Victor’ Kainth who killed alleged German paedophile in Spain. Copyright: www.theolivepress.es

IT was approximately 9.20pm on February 7 when Briton Devinder ‘Victor’ Kainth killed German Sandro Rottman at Spinnaker restaurant in Andalucia’s most exclusive resort of Sotogrande.

Against a background of luxury yachts, Kainth, 40, lost his temper after warning alleged paedophile Rottman, 43, to stop taking photos of his daughter on his iPad.

Ordering his wife and three children from the restaurant, he felled Rottman with a single punch that police claim was ‘probably enough to kill him’.

But it is what happened next…and what connections the two men might have had before, that remain so intriguing to watchers of the case.

Sandro Rottman on Twitter, "Just finished a day with the most beautiful girl in the Beach Club of Sotogrande! Hope one day I will have one my own". 10:39 AM - 7 Sep 2013
Sandro Rottman on Twitter, “Just finished a day with the most beautiful girl in the Beach Club of Sotogrande! Hope one day I will have one my own”. 10:39 AM – 7 Sep 2013

According to an Olive Press source who witnessed the fight, it is indisputable that Kainth did beat the German to death. “Victor clearly told him no more photos, but this didn’t work,” said the witness.

“Eventually he grabbed the iPad and after seeing two or three photos, bang. He threw it to the floor and it all kicked off.”

Restaurant CCTV – which was taken by the police for the investigation – doesn’t reveal exactly what happened next, as one camera was not working, but it appears that a number of kicks and punches were rained on Rottman, who was by then on the floor.

He was transferred to La Linea hospital, but died hours later from his injuries.

While the results of the autopsy have not yet been made public, it appears that Rottman’s health was fragile at best and that he certainly had a drink problem.

A worker at the exclusive El Octogono Beach Club nearby, detailed how he would drink up to three bottles of vodka a day and had been banned after running up a huge unpaid bill.

But Rottman’s spending had even more serious consequences.

Expat Fiona Goodwood, who has known Rottman for 12 years, said: “He had had difficulties due to not paying rent. His landlord’s attempt to illegally evict him resulted in Rottman having broken legs and other injuries.” It explained why locals confirmed he had been walking with a limp over recent months.
What is also fascinating is that Rottman had recently come under investigation for pornographic images of children found by the Guardia Civil on his laptop.

However, how police uncovered his stash of child pornography is also extremely strange.

It was reported in El Mundo that he was arrested on January 9, when Rottman’s neighbours heard strange noises in his house and – believing that he was being burgled – called the police.

The police quickly arrived but found an empty house and, it is claimed, the laptop switched on with – conveniently – ‘numerous’ images of naked children on the screen.

Police told the Olive Press last night that the front door was open, ‘as though the tenant had forgotten to lock it’.

However, they did not provide any more details as to how they were alerted, what they found in the house, or why no intruder was found.

It is this strange turn of events that is so puzzling to friends of Rottman, who queued up to support him this week.

Many painted an image of him as a ‘meticulous’ professional, ‘well-liked’ around the resort and a ‘vital member of the community’.

While Goodwood described him as ‘an eccentric character’, she insisted: “Sandro was an IT specialist and was conversant with all aspects of programming.

“He was meticulous with passwords and I find it very hard to believe that if there were any pornographic images, as has been claimed, that he would be so naïve as to not have password protected them.

“Is this just an attempt to discredit him?”

Another friend who worked with him at Santa Maria Polo Club, and helped him bring celebrities including Katie Price to Sotogrande, added: “I am really devastated by what has been written. I don’t believe he was a paedophile.”

And taxi driver Paco Bermudez, who has known Rottman for seven years, added: “He was a well-liked man and a keen amateur photographer. He was always taking photos. That’s why he took pictures of the British man’s daughter, not because he was a paedophile.”

A further intriguing element is the apparent closeness between Rottman and the Kainth family on the evening on which he died.

The Olive Press can reveal that Rottman had spent a number of hours socialising at the restaurant, along with Kainth’s partner Gemma Hawkins, 31, and the three children.

The 'real Cockney London' girl well-known around the luxury resort for her bleached blonde hair and 'cracking body'
The ‘real Cockney London’ girl well-known around the luxury resort for her bleached blonde hair and ‘cracking body’

“Gemma and one female friend entered the restaurant with her three children at around 5pm,” revealed a source at the restaurant.

“The children ran around the restaurant causing chaos while the women ordered a couple of glasses of wine and chatted,” he said.

“Sandro arrived about an hour later and was drinking with them. Finally around 6.30 or 7pm, Victor arrived and everything seemed good humoured.”

The 'blonde bombshell' partner of British killer Victor Kainth
The ‘blonde bombshell’ partner of British killer Victor Kainth

The group continued to drink for another two hours before the murder.

“It begs the question did they have any business links together… and did something go sour?” continued the source.

Finally, it is important to explore the backgrounds of Kainth and his partner Gemma, who were well-known faces around the resort, ‘spending big’ and driving ‘matching his and hers black and white Range Rovers’.

“They clearly have a very enviable lifestyle,” said an expat source who knows the couple. “He’s your typical Sotogrande character who has a whole lot of money but no one has any idea where it came from, and you don’t like to ask,” he added.

While nobody in Sotogrande could say exactly what they did for a living, they could afford to send two of their children to the coast’s €10,000 a year school Sotogrande International, and they were always dressed impeccably.

Both keen fitness fanatics, they worked out at the Vanity Fitness Centre in nearby Pueblo Nuevo, on an almost daily basis.

Kainth, it can be revealed, comes from North London, and has run an import/export business in southern Spain for seven years, which included a supermarket in Estepona.

The shop Stop & Buy, in Galera Park, was closed down suddenly however a few years ago, while the parent company is still active.

Spanish tax authority documents show that the parent company – the UK Beer and Food Company SL – has continued to trade but with apparently substantial losses.

Indeed, according to the latest available tax return filed for 2013, the company was officially in debt to the tune of €162,817.

Kainth also owns a property business Argasur Grupo Inmobilario SL, registered to an address in Sotogrande, but it does not have a concrete office location and little is known about it.

While police are expected to charge Kainth this week with homicide, a charge which carries up to 15 years in prison, an online petition has been launched on change.org to have him released, with 136 people signing it so far.

Either way, the mysteries of the case remain and, with Rottman dead, we may never know exactly what happened on that fateful night, nor why.

Police confirmed last night that they have finished their investigations into both cases and handed their findings over to the courts to proceed.

It will now be up to the judge to unravel the truth behind Rottman, Kainth and this most intriguing of murders.

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