STABBED: The Irish father-of-two was fatally wounded during a night out to Fuengirola

THE family of an Irishman have paid tribute to him after he was stabbed to death with broken bottles in a Costa del Sol pub.

John Pender, 53, from Shankill, Dublin, died after being attacked by a British man at Pogs Old Irish Rock Pub in Fuengirola.

Leigh Anthony Gardiner, a 49-year-old English expat, who lives in Mijas, was arrested over the killing, which took place in the men’s toilets.

Pender, a charity worker and father-of-two, had apparently told his killer to stop bothering his wife, Caroline.

TRAGIC: Dublin man John Pender was killed in front of his wife, while the pair were on holiday

The couple had been on holiday with their two children Conor and Amy, who were not at the pub.

A statement from the family said: “He will be sadly missed by his loving and heartbroken wife, children, dad, brother Stephen and sister Christine.”

The suicide prevention charity Pender worked for said: “The Board of Suicide or Survive, its management and staff, and its close knit family of supporters deeply regret the loss of their beautiful friend and colleague, John Pender, husband of our founder and CEO Caroline McGuigan.

“John’s sudden and tragic death has shocked us all and the loss of his huge presence leaves an immense void in our lives.”

SCENE: Pogs Old Irish Rock Pub in Fuengirola where the brutal killing took place

Gardiner, who has been remanded in Fuengirola police station, is believed to have stabbed Pender with the broken bottles, as he stood at the urinal.

The attack followed Gardiner apparently ‘pestering’ several women in the pub, including Pender’s wife and another woman they were with.

The Irishman tried to follow his attacker after receiving the fatal wounds, but died near the door of the pub in a pool of his own blood.

A police spokesperson said: “The suspect tried to flee the scene afterwards but was stopped from doing so by security staff and subsequently arrested by police in the area.”

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