THE alleged killer of a British expat had been involved in a knife attack on the same victim in the UK three years ago.

The Olive Press can reveal that Ben Nesbitt, 21, who was stabbed to death in Quesada on the Costa Blanca, on October 1, was hospitalised when three men attacked him in 2017.

In the vicious assault in Southport, near Liverpool, he was left lying for dead after being knifed while he was asleep on a sofa. 

Ben Nesbitt Brighter Pic
STABBED TO DEATH: Ben Nesbitt, 21

A court at the time was told that his mother thought he was ‘half dead’ when she visited him in hospital.

The man arrested  in Girona was convicted of burglary and stealing £1,600 (€1,780) and jailed for 38 months after driving two men to an address in Southport.

While he stayed in the car, the others – one of whom has never been identified – entered the property where they found Nesbitt lying on a sofa.

Ben Nesbitt
KNOWN: Nesbitt and his attacker were well-known to each other

One man – who was later jailed for six years and eight months – stabbed the victim, who, according to reports, was only saved from death by the thick clothing he was wearing.

But it would appear that the violent incident was not the end of the matter. 

Sources have told the Olive Press that the man detained the day after Nesbitt’s death was one of the three men involved in the 2017 assault. 

The man was arrested in Girona by Guardia Civil as he headed for the French border, which lay just 40 miles away, and remanded in custody by an investigating judge.

He is being probed over the fatal stabbing of Nesbitt, 21, after a late -night meet-up 400 miles away on the Costa Blanca.

The victim’s father Michael, told the Olive Press: “I tried to block it all out, hoping that I’d wake up the next morning and all of this was just a nightmare – but it wasn’t.”

Nesbitt’s family are now waiting to cremate Ben and return his ashes to his native Southport.

READ MORE: Tributes flood in as young Brit stabbed to death on Spain’s Costa Blanca is named as Ben Nesbitt

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