18 Jun, 2010 @ 10:48
1 min read

‘I feel so guilty’

A 24-year-old girl recalls the night that ‘heroic’ Dan Smith tragically stood up to defend her honour.

The A-level student, who is off to London to study psychology, had been unwinding with friends in the popular The Lounge Bar on the Costa del Sol.

“I had been out after taking my A-level art exam that afternoon and needed to unwind

“I was standing talking to a friend when I suddenly felt something going up my leg. I initially thought it was my friend’s boxer dog, but when I turned around I noticed this guy rubbing my leg.

“I was furious and told him he was ‘a c***’ and to ‘have some respect’.

“He had been sitting down on a sofa by me with a couple of friends. I had not noticed him before.

“He insisted he had done nothing, but there were at least two other witnesses and one of my friends stood up and said: ‘What are you doing?’

“Next thing he snapped at both of us, he looked really aggressive and shouted about ‘cutting off our heads’. He said it to all of us and looked really scary.

“It was then that Danny stood up and came over to calm things down.

“He was really friendly and did it in the most amicable of ways. He was certainly not aggressive.

“But Eric lost the plot and ran over and tried to punch him. Dan put his arms up to protect himself and the fight was broken up.

“He kept saying ‘why are you doing this?’, ‘what is the problem?’. But Eric wouldn’t calm down and said: ‘I’ll be back.’

“Dan was a heroic, brave and selfless man and it is appropriate that his last words should be about getting everyone else to safety.”

“It was about half an hour before he came back, but what was really spooky was that a ginger-haired friend of Eric, an English kid, who is apparently only 14, had waited outside on the other side of the road, simply watching us.

“When Eric returned on his bike, driving past the pub, I told Dan we should all just get in the car and head for home. But Dan said it was too late and told everyone to get into the pub.

“Just as we had all gone inside we heard the gunshots outside.

“A few minutes later we went out to find Dan lying on the road outside. Despite calling around a dozen times the ambulance took 45 minutes to arrive, which is shocking.

“Everyone was gutted for Dan. I blame myself and perhaps should not have said what I said to Eric. I am gutted

“Dan was a heroic, brave and selfless man and it is appropriate that his last words should be about getting everyone else to safety.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. If someone threatens you with death using a firearm, call the police immediately and lock up. Indeed, if someone assaults you, like the poor lady in the article, call the police. An investigation into Ambulance times also needs to be started as that delay is just incredulous.

    No mention of a gun threat in this piece Jon?

  2. Is it just me, or does this account really really not ring true.

    There was this bloke who she didn’t know who was touching her up?

    Who had been sitting nearby. But she hadn’t noticed him.

    And then a bit later in the tale she knows he’s Eric.

    And how does she know the ginger-haired kid is:
    a) English
    b) a friend of Eric’s
    c) watching her

    And why did Dan “know it was too late” when Eric returned on his bike.

    Most people’s bullshit detectors should be off the radar by now.

    Yet the Olive Press, who I thought were reasonably good at reporting what was going on in the area, run this verbatim without asking any questions…

    Something’s not right, is it?

  3. god, you lot are fickle… if you read the main story first it all makes sense… this is a paraphrased first person account, so stop trying to be clever and act like private dicks!
    what are you saying? It is made up? This guy didn’t do it?


  4. Obviously the event happened. I just can’t understand why they waited for this person (known as a gun nut and a bit of a weirdo according to reports by others) to come back on his bike with a gun, half an hour later, without calling the police. For that matter why didn’t the young lady call the police when she was assaulted? It is an assault, is it not, when a man rubs a ladies leg without permission?

    When I initially read this piece the omission of the time involved and the abscence of police involvement, that caught my attention, and that is all I am commenting about Jon. Not trying to be clever; I already am clever thanks, and more than you :)

  5. fred,

    clever indeed… why dont you go out and find me some good stories, rather than spending your time picking apart all the ones weve already got!

    lets face it if the cops got called every time someone’s leg got touched, they would be spending the whole night (and day) in the pub.


  6. Jon, you provide a feedback mechanism, but object when the feedback does not suit your own way of thinking. My comments are reasonable; I didn’t criticise the article, I just said it did not explain the timeline, and you agreed by clarifying the ’30 minute’ omission. If the cops had been called the outcome may well have been very different, but I of course appreciate that you only report the events.

    By the way, isn’t stopping comments (which you started doing today) against your freedom of speech principals, or did they just go out the window too? A newspaper editor needs to remain calm – you are ruining your ‘Quality of Life’ index Jon lol.

  7. Fred – the Olive Press web site has seen a huge growth in traffic recently. To offer a better service to readers and advertisers the website was relocated to a new server last night. During the transfer article comments were disabled. They have now been reinstated.

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