A British man stabbed to death at a Tenerife apartment last week was an armed intruder, police believe.
Expat Andrew Walch a criminal who was convicted over a bizarre attempt to smuggle drugs on a drone into a Cheshire prison nearly five years ago was initially believed to have been the victim of a burglary.
But it emerged the 31-year-old from Preston, Lancashire, has been identified by detectives as the knifeman who went to the property where he was stabbed with two accomplices "looking to steal drugs or cash."
Five suspects including three Brits have appeared in court over the killing on the Spanish island.
British bar worker Jimmi Nicol has been remanded in custody on suspicion of Walch’s homicide pending an ongoing criminal investigation.
A second Brit also arrested for the homicide has been released on bail along with Mr Nicol’s sister Maxi, who is being investigated on suspicion of concealment, and an Italian and a Polish man who were in the flat at the time.
No charges have yet been laid against any of the five suspects. Charges in Spain are only laid shortly before trial but all five suspects remain under official investigation.
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A police report sent to a court says Walch went to the home Nicol shared with his sister with two unidentified accomplices "with the intention of stealing drugs or money that could be inside".
They say the struggle that ended with Walch’s death allegedly began after Nicol let him into the property and he produced a knife before the second Brit held on suspicion of homicide went to his aid.
The suspected killer insists Walsh and an unidentified Moroccan accomplice were both carrying knives and said they tried to help the dying man before calling 999.
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Judge Garcia Ramila, who made the custody and conditional bail orders after the suspects’ court appearance last Friday in the municipality of Arona, said in his remand ruling he could not find any factual proof at this stage "that could justify a legitimate self-defence."
A spokesman for the National Police in Tenerife confirmed five people had been arrested following the fatal stabbing of a 31-year-old British national on the island.
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He added: “Three of the detainees are British nationals aged 26 to 30. Two were held on suspicion of homicide and the third on suspicion of concealment.
"The other two, both held on suspicion of concealment, are Polish and Italian."
Initial reports suggested Walch, who was known on the island as Ed rather than Andrew, had been the victim of a break-in. He is said to have left a trail of blood on steps leading to the street above the property.
He left Britain for a new life in Tenerife around a year ago.
Walch was an inmate at HMP Risley in Warrington, Cheshire, in August 2016 when he was involved in an £18,000 plot to fly a stash of drugs and mobile phones into the jail using a drone.
He was jailed for four and a half years after the drugs drone plot was busted.
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