Brit arrested for blowtorch attack on woman in Tenerife

A 37-year-old British man has been arrested for allegedly attacking a German woman with a blowtorch and leaving her for dead at her home on the Canary Island.

Brit arrested for blowtorch attack on woman in Tenerife
The man attacked his victim with a blowtorch. Photo: Duncan C / Flickr

Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the man named locally as Darren Paul Turner attacking the woman at her home in Granadilla de Abona, in the south of the island, last Thursday.

After burning her face with a blowtorch, the alleged perpetrator then used a rock to hit her. He was arrested along with a 47-year-old German man who was with him at the time of the attack.

After the assault, the pair left the injured woman on the floor of her home to go out drinking in a nearby plaza.

The woman, who is reported in 20 Minutos newspaper to be 36-years-old, suffered third degree burns to her face and is being treated in intensive care at the Hospital Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria.

On his arrest, the Brit man reportedly told police: “I killed my friend”, according to the local La Opinion newspaper. He had injuries consistent with a suicide attempt and is being treated at a secure medical unit.

“We can confirm the arrest of a British National on April 1st in Tenerife,” a spokesman from the British Embassy in Madrid told The Local. “We are providing consular assistance.” 

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Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The Moroccan suspect held in connection with a machete attack on two Spanish churches, killing a verger and badly injuring a priest, will undergo psychiatric testing, a court said Tuesday.

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The case is being handled by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, with the judge in charge asking that “two doctors conduct a psychiatric evaluation of the suspect”.

The suspect, 25-year-old Yassine Kanjaa, was arrested at the scene after the attacks on two churches in the southern town of Algeciras last week.

The Audiencia Nacional said the psychiatric evaluation, which will be carried out by doctors from the court’s forensic department, would provide “information about the legal responsibility” of the “presumed jihadist”.

Prosecutors have opened a terror probe and, on Monday, the court remanded the suspect in custody without bail on murder and terrorism charges.

During the deadly incident on January 26th, the suspect entered San Isidro church and attacked its priest with a machete, leaving him seriously wounded before entering Nuestra Señora de La Palma.

There he attacked the verger and chased him out of the church where he killed him.

‘Targeted priests and infidels’

Court details released on Monday said the attacker had also injured three other people, including another Moroccan man whom he “considered an infidel” because he had renounced his faith.

It said Kanjaa’s actions could be “qualified as a jihadist attack directed at both priests who profess the Catholic faith, and Muslims who, according to the suspect, don’t follow the Koran”.

The court said the suspect fits the profile of a “self-indoctrinated terrorist who acts individually without direct ties to a specific terror group but operates in the name of jihadist philosophy”.

Last week, Spain’s left-wing government refused to rule out mental illness and the police have described him as “unstable”.

The court said Kanjaa became indoctrinated “rapidly” within the space of up to six weeks, citing witnesses as telling police that just before that, he “was drinking alcohol and smoking hashish”. Then he suddenly started listening “regularly to the Koran on his mobile phone”.

One of Kanjaa’s neighbours told AFP something similar on Friday, saying he had changed radically six weeks ago, growing a beard and wearing a long robe.

Officials have said Kanjaa was served with a deportation order last June but had no prior convictions and was not under surveillance.