Mario Sauco (left) and his attacker, Mark T., in a picture taken after the attack. SUR
British holidaymaker arrested for not paying single penny of compensation to family of man he killed with a punch on the Costa del Sol

British holidaymaker arrested for not paying single penny of compensation to family of man he killed with a punch on the Costa del Sol

Interpol has informed the Spanish judiciary that the UK authorities have arrested the 50-year-old and have begun extradition proceedings, as requested by the victim's family

Juan Cano


Thursday, 23 May 2024, 08:45

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"He killed my father and now he is laughing at us and at Spanish justice." This is what Verónica, one of the three daughters of Mario Sauco , a 66-year-old man who died in 2018 in Fuengirola after being punched by a British tourist following an incident in a bar in the Costa del Sol resort, told SUR less than a month ago.

The reason for the indignation of Verónica and the entire Sauco family is that, six years after the event, the British man responsible for the death of her father, identified as Mark T., has not paid for the crime he committed, despite being convicted of it. Neither in prison nor through the compensation of 183,500 euros that he promised to pay to the victim's family.

In view of the convicted man's "repeated" non-compliance, the Criminal Court number 5 of Malaga, in charge of the execution of the sentence, issued warrants to locate him. Four years ago, it issued an international arrest warrant and another European arrest warrant for the detention of Mark T.

Just when it seemed that the crime would go unpunished, Interpol has informed the court that the Briton had been arrested. The UK authorities have confirmed that Mark T. has been arrested and that extradition proceedings have been initiated for his transfer to Spain to answer for the reckless homicide of Mario Sauco.

After receiving the Interpol alert, Malaga Criminal Court number 5 has notified the parties and the Public Prosecutor's Office, specifically the area of International Legal Cooperation, so that they can work out how to proceed in this case, taking into account the exit of the United Kingdom - the same year of the trial - from the framework of the European Union in the Brexit.

Mark T. was tried in 2020. He acknowledged the facts and accepted a two-year prison sentence , as well as agreeing to pay compensation of 183,500 euros to the family of Mario Sauco, who left a widow and four grandchildren whom he used to look after so that his three daughters could go to work.

The British man applied for a suspended sentence on condition that he did not reoffend and that he paid civil liability. The sentence included a payment schedule of 60 instalments at a rate of 3,051 euros per month to settle the compensation.

The court warned him that after the third missed monthly payment, his sentence would be revoked and he would have to go to prison to answer for the death of Sauco. It has been six years since the murder and four years since he was sentenced. And as of a month ago Mark T. has not paid a single euro.

During the first months, the Briton sent several emails to the 5th Criminal Court of Malaga - in charge of the execution of the sentence - alleging problems with the bank transfers, but the truth is that, at least until yesterday, the judicial account had not received a penny in Mark T.'s name.

Conviction for the assault on Mario Sauco

The sentence against Mark T. considered it proven that he punched Mario Sauco in the face "unexpectedly and without any possibility of explanation". The victim was "knocked out" by the impact for a few seconds and collapsed backwards onto the asphalt. In the fall, the victim hit his head "hard on the ground", which caused a cranioencephalic traumatism with a right temporal fracture, subdural haematoma and bilateral subarachnoid haemorrhage. He was admitted to hospital in a coma. Eight days later, he died. The origin of that punch was an incident that occurred minutes before in a bar in Fuengirola. Mario was drinking in the company of a friend. The Briton was sitting at another table with his family and friends, with whom he was celebrating a birthday. Someone told Mark T. that Mario Sauco "got heavy" with one of the holidaymaker's daughters, who did not even see the scene. By then, Mario had already left the bar and was on his way home. Mark T. chased him down the street and threw the punch that killed him. The court sentence stated: "There is no evidence of any kind of abuse or sexual advances [by Sauco] towards the attacker's daughters".

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