Tuesday 20 August 2019

Married charity worker killed in pub attack on Spanish family holiday is named

John Pender was on a family summer holiday with his wife and children

John Pender (inset) died following an attack in Spain
John Pender (inset) died following an attack in Spain
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A married Dublin father-of-two has been killed in a savage attack in the toilet of an Irish bar while on a family holiday in Spain.

The man has been named locally as John Pender, who was in his 50s. Mr Pender was on a family summer holiday with his wife and children when he was attacked by a man with a broken bottle.

The incident happened at the Pogs Old Irish Rock Pubin Fuengirola on Thursday night.

Mr Pender, who worked with a suicide charity based in Shankill, chased his attacker through the pub after the attack but collapsed from blood loss at the door.

A suspect, thought to be British but living in nearby Mijas, was arrested at the scene.

Witnesses said the Irishman was with his wife and another Irish couple when the suspect began to pester them in the bar.

The incident happened in the Fuengirola resort
The incident happened in the Fuengirola resort

One witness told police thta Mr Pender had been stabbed in the neck by surprise from behind as he was at a urinal - and had no chance to defend himself.

The witness told detectives Mr Pender followed his attacker to the door of the pub before collapsing in a pool of blood.

"The suspected attacker showed no signs of emotion either immediately after his arrest or once he was in police cells,” another well-placed source said.

It is believed the couple’s two children, who are of school-going age, had stayed behind at their holiday apartment and did not witness the incident.

"It appears the arrested man was pestering the Irish holidaymaker and his partner and at one point the Irishman asked him politely to stop,” said one source.

"There was no real argument, he was just saying he didn’t want to be bothered and wanted to carry on enjoying himself with his friends.

"He had gone to the men’s toilet when he was attacked. He died at the door of the pub after trying to stop his attacker from fleeing before collapsing,” they added.

Mr Pender had worked in the Suicide Or Survive charity with his wife Caroline.

He was a qualified acupuncturist who had studied the technique in China.

His website tells how he developed his interest in mental health 16 years ago through his own experience of supporting someone who struggled with depression and anxiety, made a suicide attempt  but who went on to recover and continues to live a full and meaningful life managing their own wellness on a daily basis.

"I am a Board member of Suicide or Survive, for the last 10 years, a nationwide suicide prevention organisation.

"I am a trained Level 2 Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) Facilitator,  which takes a practical approach to planning for mental wellness using a range of strategies and supports. I now facilitate WRAP programmes on an ongoing basis,” Mr Pender explained on his site.

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