THEY had been planning to move to the Costa del Sol for a ‘peaceful’ new way of life.
After a three-month trip to Marbella last year, they believed that the coast offered the dream start for their two children Jasmine, two, and Leo, one.
Keen to escape an increasing spiral of violence in London, property developer Julian Higgins, 52, and his Chinese wife Lydia, 37, saw the benefits of raising a family in Spain, a country famed for its liberal attitudes and lowered crime rates.
However, their dream move turned into a nightmare when an alleged violent and racist assault left Julian hospitalised and the family’s hopes of settling in Spain left in tatters.
They have now called in lawyers and the British embassy, after an American expat allegedly attacked them and their rental car with a baseball bat during a parking row.
Higgins, 52, is furious that police have apparently failed to deal with the neighbour, who left them in hospital and having to pay €1,414 to Goldcar for the damage.
“He was completely crazy,” Higgins told the Olive Press. “A complete maniac who literally came flying out of his house and swung at me and my wife with this baseball bat.
“He ended up hitting Lydia on the shoulder while she was holding our one-year-old son and continued hurling racial abuse at her, calling her a ‘chinky’.
“He then said he would kill me and my whole family, it was nuts.
“My daughter Jasmine was just behind her and really scared so I had no choice but to jump in and defend them, getting injured in the process.”
The attack had happened after the neighbour put a note ordering them to remove their ‘piece of s**t car’ while they were staying at Lydia’s uncle’s villa in Estepona’s Forest Hills area, in July.
Higgins and Lydia, 37 – who was holding their baby son Leo – came under attack, as they retrieved the threatening letter from the windscreen.
But despite going to hospital suffering cuts and bruises and then reporting the incident to police, he is amazed that nothing has been done.
“My two-and-a-half year old daughter still asks if the bad man is coming back. My wife does not want to return to Spain and the police were totally unhelpful.”
Higgins claims the police seem to be siding with the American, who apparently called the police first.
They have all given statements at the Policia Nacional station in Estepona.
“But for some reason they are delaying giving me an incident number.”
Not to be outdone Higgins employed the services of a lawyer and directly filed a complaint with Estepona court.
“It has left a very bad taste about the police and how they let women and child beaters roam free..this was an unprovoked attack over a car parked in no one’s way.
When the Olive Press approached the American last week, he refused to comment on any of the allegations. “No comment, no comment, no comment,” was all he would say.
A spokesman for Estepona police said he remembered the case and Higgins arriving at the station, but he could not account for why there was no incident number or reference to the incident in the system.