A SQUATTER has been released on bail after allegedly trying to kill a British expat pensioner with an axe.
The unnamed Moroccan assailant was picked up in a midnight raid after allegedly hacking at Michael Devitt, 75, during an argument with two other squatters.
Witnesses told the Olive Press how the former lorry driver’s arm was ‘left dangling’ after the savage attack in the village of Aguadulce, near Sevilla.
“The guy came out of nowhere,” neighbour Alan McGarva, 70, told the Olive Press, “he just raised the axe in the air and aimed for his head, there was blood everywhere, it was horrific.”
By incredible fortune, Devitt blocked the blow with his arm, causing it to break from the impact.
The attacker, who was later arrested at a nearby squatted home, has been charged and will stand trial next year.
“He will only face a maximum of six years for grievous bodily harm,” explains Scot McGarva, a former RAF air traffic controller, who trained Prince Harry how to navigate.
“It’s ridiculous, it was surely attempted murder?”
The attack has shocked the British community in the Sierra Sur area of Sevilla province, where many Olive Press readers live.
They are now demanding action on the issues of squatters, who have illegally lived in homes on various private urbanisations for nearly five years.
“It’s just not fair,” McGarva added, “We’ve had five years of hell and they’re destroying homes and bringing down the price of everyone else’s.
“Our street has been plagued for years and no attempt has been made to rid the village of them by police or the authorities.”
He claimed that numerous families were living in at least six homes in his urbanisation, all of which have been destroyed and boarded up.
“The local Spanish are frightened to do anything against these people and it is just a matter of time before someone gets killed.”
According to McGarva, the incident erupted during an argument over a parking space when two female squatters asked him to move his car from outside his home so they could park their van.
“They started screaming at me, it was nuts,” he explained.
The former prison guard – who also worked for the RAF for years – agreed to move his car while neighbour Devitt tried to calm the situation.
But as the argument continued, McGarva’s wife Averil, 72, noticed a man running up the street with something in his hand.
“He just came running at Michael and tried to axe him in the head,” she recalls.
Police and an ambulance arrived within 20 minutes but the axeman had already fled the scene.
He is known locally for causing trouble, having moved into an abandoned home last year.
At least 10 homes on the street are empty following the financial crash of 2007.
PSOE Aguadulce mayor Estrella Montaño blasted the attack but insisted only three homes were illegally occupied in the town.