25 Jun, 2024 @ 14:03
5 mins read

Man who was brutally attacked by missing Brit Jay Slater implores internet sleuths to ‘help find’ him as police probe teen’s criminal past

THE victim of a brutal attack by Jay Slater has implored internet sleuths to ‘help find’ the missing Brit as the search enters its ninth day in Tenerife.

Despite being the victim of a gang attack at the hands of Jay Slater, Tom Hilton has urged internet sleuths to ‘have some respect’ and help in the search for the 19-year-old. 

Some two years ago, Mr Hilton’s skull was split in a machete attack carried out by an eight-strong gang, including Jay. 

The assault, also using golf clubs and an axe, left Hilton fighting for his life in Rishton, Lancashire. 

READ MORE: Is this Jay Slater? New CCTV image brings fresh hope for clues as search for missing Brit focuses on outhouses near mountainous village in Tenerife

Hilton was attacked by an eight-strong gang in 2021, including Jay Slater.
Photo: Tom Hilton/Facebook

Now, the MailOnline has revealed Spanish detectives are investigating whether his disappearance is linked to his criminal past. 

Jay Slater went missing nine days ago after attending a three-day rave festival, NRG, in Tenerife. 

The 19-year-old bricklayer, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire vanished on the morning of Monday, June 17 after leaving the rave with men he had met there. 

It comes as details of the machete attack were posted on social media by internet sleuths, leading many to describe his disappearance as ‘karma’. 

However, the victim of the 2021 attack, Hilton, posted on Facebook saying: “Whoever is writing on these TikToks, give it a rest. This young lad’s missing and his family’s heartbroken. 

“Put yourself in their shoes. Stop talking nonsense on social and get this lad found, mentioning my name all this and that. Have some respect and help find this boy and get him back to his family.”

READ MORE: Mother of missing British teenager reveals alleged second sighting in Tenerife – as sniffer dogs scour 2,000ft-deep ravine

Despite being the victim of a brutal attack involving Slater, he has pleaded for ‘respect’ surrounding the teen’s disappearance.
Photo: Tom Hilton/Facebook

Hilton was left with head injuries which exposed his skull alongside leg and shoulder wounds when he was just 17. 

During court proceedings, he described the gang as a ‘pack of wolves’, as he was forced to run for his life into nearby woods, where he was attacked. 

According to Manchester Evening News, all eight accused, including Jay, laughed and joked during the trial at Preston Crown Court. 

When passing their sentence, Judge Philip Parry said: “Many of you have found these proceedings amusing throughout the trial and yesterday and today, showing disrespect to the court.

“I hope for the sake of all your families, the public and the people who have offered you jobs and apprenticeships and the sort that you all grow up.

“Every one of you deserves to be sent to youth detention. 

“Some of you played a more active role in the violent disorder than others, some of you carried weapons, some wore balaclavas but the seriousness of this is the group nature of it.

READ MORE: Loved ones of missing Brit, 19, say ‘something sinister is going on’ as search for teen enters fourth day in Spain’s Tenerife

“As a group you were all more threatening than you would have been as individuals.”

They were ultimately convicted for violent disorder and other offences including witness intimidation, attempted robbery and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

This was a rehabilitative approach, the judge claimed, instead of the more serious charge, wounding, which would have sent them all to youth custody. 

Jay was given an 18-month community service order, alongside 25 days rehabilitation activities and 150 hours unpaid work for violent disorder. 

His holiday to Tenerife marked the near completion of his sentence. 

Jay’s criminal past first emerged after a Canary Islands local, El Dia, described the court case in detail.

They described it as a ‘black mark’ on his past, the headline reading: “The past of the young British man who disappeared in Tenerife. Slater beat up a teenager along with seven other people.” 

It has led to wild speculation online by amateur detectives and psychics, with some even suggesting his disappearance was faked in order to pocket the cash generated on a GoFundMe fundraiser.  

Others have also cruelly suggested he was kidnapped over a drug deal gone wrong. 

Rumors swirled after Jay’s mum, 55-year-old Debbie Duncan received a menacing Snapchat message that said: “Kiss goodbye to your boy, you’re never going to see him again, he owes me a lot of money.”

READ MORE: Timeline of disappearance of British tourist Jay Slater

Brother and mum: Jay’s mum Debbie recieved threatening messages after her son vanished.

Spanish investigators say they are not ‘ruling anything out.’

According to a source consulted by the MailOnline, it is ‘natural’ to investigate a missing person’s background in case it is relevant. 

However, they also stated the hunt was ‘unusual’ as over a week has passed with no sightings or leads. 

“We have to consider the possibility of something else happening,” they told the newspaper. 

It comes after Jay’s friends and family voiced their belief that the teen had been ‘taken.’ 

Debbie said: “What happened in court is irrelevant, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. What matters more than anything is that my son is missing and we need to find him.”

The last known contact from Jay was at 08:50am on Monday when he rang his friend Lucy Mae West.

He told her he was lost in the mountains, dehydrated and had just one percent battery. 

It is thought he left the NRG afterparty, in a club in Papagayo beach, at around 5am. 

He then went to the rural village of Masca, 19 miles away to stay in the Airbnb of two British men he had just met. 

From this property, he sent both Lucy and his mother two Snapchat pictures showing him outside the house, informing them he was going to walk the 11 hour journey home after missing the bus. 

The men who hired the Airbnb have been questioned by Spanish police but were allowed to return to the UK. 

As well as the police, Lucy tracked down the house and asked the men if they knew Jay’s whereabouts. 

According to the MailOnline, they were ‘startled and surprised’ that she found them and informed her he had gone to catch the bus. 

She has also been questioned by police after she set up the GoFundMe, asking specifically for £30,000. 

However, there is nothing to suggest she is involved in the disappearance. 

Nonetheless, social media users have questioned where the donations will go, especially because Debbie has been added and removed as the beneficiary multiple times.

It comes as CCTV, possibly showing Jay at 06:00pm on Monday afternoon is reported. 

Almost ten hours after his phone’s last live location, the CCTV shows Jay walking close to the San Fernando Rey church, some 15 miles from the club and 3.5 miles from the area where his mobile phone last pinged. 

It also matches reports that Jay’s mother had been told by a witness that they saw someone matching her son’s description sitting on a bench with two men. 

However, local police have not confirmed the sighting, saying ‘nothing has been ruled out and nothing has been ruled in.’ 

It comes as search efforts are closing in on the ravine near where Jay was last seen, as well as several outhouses. 

READ MORE: Missing Brit’s final social media post emerges as desperate search to find bricklayer, 19, continues in remote area of Spain’s Tenerife

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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