Five British men being investigated over the death of holidaymaker Kirsty Maxwell who fell from a Benidorm balcony have been told they are in the clear.
A Spanish judge has ruled there is ‘no evidence’ pointing to their involvement in the 27-year-old Scottish woman’s death and announced she is provisionally shelving the near two-and-a-half-year homicide investigation.
The five Britons – Joseph Graham, Ricky Gammon, Anthony Holehouse, Callum Northridge, and Daniel Bailey – were given the news on Tuesday by their lawyer.
Kirsty Maxwell (pictured with husband Adam) plunged to her death from the 10th floor of a hotel in Benidorm in April 2017, following a hen party with friends
Five Britons staying in the apartment where she fell – including Joseph Graham (left) and Ricky Gammon (right) – were placed under investigation for murder, but the probe has been dropped
The five men – including Callum Northridge (left) – maintained their innocence and said Mrs Maxwell fell by accident (pictured right, one of the suspects leaves court in 2017)
Roberto Sanchez, defence lawyer for all five men, said: ‘They all know about the judge’s decision and are very happy with it.
‘It confirms what they have said from the start.’
Mr Graham and his friends were the last people to see Kirsty alive after she walked into their tenth-floor room at Apartamentos Payma in Benidorm’s Little England area just before 8am on April 29, 2017.
She plunged to her death moments later in circumstances her family described as ‘sinister and suspicious.’
The five men, who are all from the Nottingham area, were placed under formal investigation on suspicion of Kirsty’s homicide, although Mr Graham was the only one of the five Brits to be formally arrested.
All five men were questioned as part of the investigation, then allowed to return to the UK.
Kirsty’s family launched a campaign to ‘get justice’ over her death, with husband Adam Maxwell insisting that ‘something dark’ happened in apartment 10E.
But the long-running case has now been halted, with the threat of trial removed.
Judge Ana Isabel Garcia-Galbis said in her ruling: ‘There is no evidence of the participation of the men investigated in the death of the victim.’
Ms Garcia-Galbis pointed to tests showing that Kirsty was ‘seriously affected’ by alcohol she had drunk during a hen night out with friends before her death that could have caused her problems including ‘blurred vision, loss of balance and emotional instability.’
She added: ‘Conclusions different to those of the police at the time about the accidental dynamic of the death have not been able to be reached.’
Kirsty’s parents and husband are expected to appeal the ruling, which still does not make it clear how she fell from the tenth floor balcony
Kirsty, who married Adam only seven months before she died, fell 100ft from the hotel Balcony in Benidorm, Spain. Pictured: The balcony in the room where she was staying
It is thought Kirsty entered the men’s apartment by accident around 8am on April 29 while looking for a friend who was staying on the same floor, moments before falling
Kirsty’s parents Brian and Denise Curry and her husband have been given three days to lodge an appeal with the investigating judge, who is based at Benidorm’s Court of Investigation Number Four, although they are expected to waive that right and try to overturn the ruling at a higher regional court.
There has been no official comment yet from her loved ones or their legal team.
The writing was on the wall for Kirsty’s family after they were hit with a quadruple whammy in the run-up to the second anniversary of her death.
Kirsty’s husband Adam (pictured together) believes ‘something dark’ must have happened to her before she fell
The Spanish judge leading the criminal probe rejected four separate new requests from their Spanish lawyer and hinted an at imminent ruling on the case.
They included attempts to get the judge to help them track down potential witnesses by obtaining the names and contact details of holidaymakers staying on the top floors of the four-star Hotel Presidente opposite the apartment block where Kirsty died.
The family’s Spanish lawyer also made a failed bid to get the judge to allow an architect to analyse the inside of the apartment Kirsty plunged from to complement a study by biomechanics expert Mike Brown who appeared in a BBC documentary in August last year called ‘Killed Abroad.’
Kirsty’s family have been supported by West Lothian MSP Angela Constance, who told Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a letter in July: ‘Much more needs to be done to support the families of loved ones killed abroad.’
Last month an online appeal backed by her loved ones accused the Spanish authorities of ‘flawed investigations’ ahead of what would have been her 30th birthday and claimed they had ‘no empathy for Kirsty’s family.’
All five men probed over the death of Kirsty, thought to have entered their apartment by mistake as she headed to a friend’s room on the same floor, denied any wrongdoing.
None were charged with any crime, as is normal in Spain where charges are only laid shortly before trial.
Mr Graham told police after his arrest Kirsty was acting as if she was ‘mad, drunk or drugged’ and headed for the bathroom before trying to get through an indoor window and then disappearing from his view as she headed towards the balcony.
Kirsty, from Livingston, West Lothian, died instantly after plunging from a tenth-floor flat in the Costa Blanca resort. Pictured: The swimming pool below where she fell
Adam Maxwell, who married Kirsty in September 2016, claimed in a newspaper interview after his wife’s death ‘something dark’ had happened in the apartment and vowed: ‘I won’t rest until I know the truth.’
Kirsty’s dad Brian told a BBC Scotland programme in February: ‘We’ve got a goal and the goal is to find out some truth and answers.’
‘We’ve always been positive that we’re doing the right thing. As long as we are here, we´ll keep pushing on.’
Blood and urine samples after her death showed Kirsty, from Livingston, West Lothian, had taken no drugs but stated her alcohol and blood level at 2.79 gram per litre.
The toxicology report concluded in a final paragraph: ‘In general, the effects of ingesting alcohol which leads to concentrations in blood of 1.8 to three grams per litre are disorientation, mental confusion, vertigo; an exaggerated emotional state including fear and anger; alteration of sensations and perception of colour, shape, movement and dimensions; reduction of the feeling of pain; alterations in balance, muscular incoordination, walking and speech problems.’