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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 18:57 GMT 19:57 UK
Briton accused of Spanish murder
Tony King
Mr King claims he was hit on the head after seeing Ms Carabantes
A 40-year-old Briton has appeared in a southern Spanish court charged with murdering a teenage girl in Malaga.

Tony Alexander King denies kidnapping and strangling 17-year-old Sonia Carabantes in August 2003.

The girl was last seen at a fairground near her home in Coin, Malaga, on 14 August. Her body was found five days later naked, half-buried under a rock.

Mr King, who faces 30 years in jail, had admitted to the killing but later said he confessed under torture.

Crash

He told to the court he had been drinking heavily near the Coin fairground on the night the girl disappeared, Spanish News Agency EFE reported.

He said when he got into his car and tried to drive away, he hit something "very hard", which he believed was another car's door.

When he got out of his car and looked, he saw Ms Carabantes on the ground.

The Associated Press reported Mr King claimed he was then hit on the head and can only remember sitting in the back of his car next to Ms Carabantes, who he believed was dead.

The prosecution disagrees, saying he killed the girl for his own sexual gratification.

Strangled

Mr King had earlier confessed to Ms Carabantes' murder and the killing of another local teenage girl, Rocio Wanninkhof.

Ms Wanninkhof went missing in the nearby town of Mijas in October 1999 and her body was found some three weeks later.

Hundreds of locals had helped in the search for both teenagers, and they were both found strangled and naked.

Mr King later withdrew his confession, saying he had been "tortured in every moment", EFE reported.

The trial is expected to last until 31 October.



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