A German man has been sentenced to life in prison for beating his wife and ten-year-old son to death with a rock in a cave on Spain’s holiday island of Tenerife.

Thomas Handrick was also found guilty of attempting to murder his younger son, Jonas, then aged seven, who managed to escape and run for help.

The court ruling published on Thursday said that on April 23, 2019, Handrick, then 43, took his wife, , Shylvia, 39,  and their sons on a 10km hike with the promise of an Easter Egg hunt.

The ruling said he had deliberately lured them to ‘an isolated spot where they could not get help’.

Once at the cave, he took a rock and repeatedly beat his wife until she was dead. The older son, Jakob, who tried to protect his mother, was also ‘violently and repeatedly’ beaten about the head until he too was dead.

The younger son ran from the cave and found his way to help. The ruling described how he ‘survived his trek through a remote and uninhabited area” and then managed to lead police back to the bodies of his mother and brother.

The court heard that the couple had been separated for some time but that the mother had travelled to the island with her sons so they could visit their father.

Handrick, from Halle in Germany, was sentenced to 39 years in prison.

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