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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Man charged with murdering expat
Francis Ottley
Francis Ottley had travelled to La Linea in Spain in a converted coach
An unemployed man from Brighton has been charged with murdering a British expatriate who was living in Spain and has not been seen since February 2005.

Stuart James Martin, 29, of Bramble Way, Hollingbury, is charged with murdering Francis Ottley, 56, who lived in Dover, Kent, until 2003.

Mr Martin was charged after an inquiry by Kent Police and Spanish authorities.

He was remanded in custody by Shepway magistrates to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on 1 September.

A body has never been found by police searching for Mr Ottley.

A statement released by his family on Friday said the murder charge confirmed their "worst fears" about what had happened to him.

Converted coach

"Unlike UK law, there is no precedent in Spain for prosecuting a murder where the body has yet to be found," said Det Ch Insp Dean Barnes.

"Kent Police are able to prosecute the murder of a British citizen by a British citizen under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861."

Mr Ottley travelled to the La Linea area of Spain in a converted coach.

Kent Police have appealed for anyone living in the UK who has information about his disappearance to contact them.

They particularly want to trace Lorna Montgomery Macdonald, 31, a Briton who is believed to be living in Spain and who visits Malaga regularly.

Hear more about the mystery surrounding Francis Ottley

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