A TEENAGER was fatally stabbed on a street that I used to live near. It’s a busy road that divides a popular commercial centre and urbanisation. There’s a ‘neighbours’ association’ bar at one end where you’ll find a mixture of ages and nationalities, with a function room at the back that they rent out for dance classes, clubs and groups.

On Saturday morning they hold a street market and there’s even an annual feria. In short, it’s a snapshot of how wonderful life is on this multicultural coast.

Now it is the site of a murder.

I got a text message from a friend whose daughters go to a nearby school. I drove over straight away. Parking in the commercial centre, I climbed the stairs to the first floor so that I could get an overview of the scene. In a way, I wish I hadn’t. His body was there, covered in a white cloth, with the funeral van close by. The police were waiting for an official to certify the death before they moved the body. A policeman spotted me and politely, but firmly, told me to come down from my vantage point.

Shrine Giles Column
TRIBUTE: A shrine to the teen victim

I spotted some friends and walked over to find out more information. And was told the victim’s name and tragically young age. About how he had an argument with the occupants of a luxury white car that resulted in one of them getting out and plunging a knife into the teenager’s chest. About how the car sped off. About how a nearby dentist ran out of his clinic and applied CPR in a vain attempt to save his life. About his mother and sister being inconsolable at the scene. The sister was still there, crying into the shoulder of one of her brother’s friends. About the children that had seen him dying at the side of the road.

My friends are long-term residents on the coast, who lived here in the ‘Costa del Crime’ heyday of the 80s and 90s when British and Irish gangsters were a common sight. But they were all shocked. ‘This is just crazy’ one said.

Estepona Stabbing
The aftermath of the stabbing

So I’m angry. I’m angry because this should not have happened. A few cross words between a teenager and the driver of a luxury car has led to a senseless loss of life.

We’ve all seen these cars, normally with foreign number plates, tearing along the coast, their drivers acting as if the laws don’t apply to them. We’ve seen more and more criminals moving here because the police don’t seem to bother them. They seem more interested in fining people for menial infringements, especially during the current pandemic. Or they arrive to mop up after the violence is over. The police and authorities have to come together and rid our paradise of these parasites. 

And I’m upset. Upset because when I was 19 I could be a mouthy little so-and-so. At 19 you think you are immortal and don’t understand that a casual ‘F**k you’ could escalate into something much worse than words.

But a second of teenage bravado should never have ended like this. And as long as the scum who think it acceptable to carry a knife, or a gun, get away with this, every parent’s nightmare will happen again.

I was sent a photograph, which I didn’t publish. There was blood. Lots of it. And a pair of white trainers. The type I would have worn when I was a teen. That really hit me.

I’m angry and upset as I write this.

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