British woman gets 27 years for Tenerife killing
Families plan appeal as Spanish court finds bar owner guilty of ordering hitmen to kill her partner
Wednesday 03 June 1998
Jackie Ambler, 33, originally from near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was sentenced along with the two men she hired to carry out the killing in the bar she ran with the victim Michael O'Hara, 39, from Wakefield.
The bouncers Stanley Stewart, 31, from Clackmannanshire, and Gary Holmes, 31, from Littlehampton, West Sussex, were each sentenced to 29 years' imprisonment - the most severe sentences reported to have been handed down to Britons in post- Franco Spain.
Ambler denied plotting the killing with the two men or promising to pay them hit money during the trial at Santa Cruz Provincial Court.
Mr O'Hara was beaten to death at the couple's British-style pub in Los Christianos in 1995. Ambler's father, John Ambler, 61, said the family was devastated by the news.
"We were all expecting her to be freed, so we hadn't made any contingency plans for this type of verdict. "Jackie's in a terrible state and I will be trying to organise a flight out there as soon as I can," said Mr Ambler, of Rossington, near Doncaster.
The family are now planning to contact their MP, Caroline Flint, and the pressure group Fair Trials Abroad in an attempt to get the verdict overturned.
"We can't understand how she could have been convicted. None of the prosecution's seven witnesses turned up and it just doesn't seem real," he said.
Stewart's mother Helen, 59, wept when she learned of the sentence.
Mrs Stewart, from Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, who last spoke to her son by phone over a week ago, said: "I don't know where to turn."
She added: "There is a chance of an appeal but I can't go over there in case he loses that. I couldn't face leaving him in jail."
She continued: "It's such a shock. He told me not to worry and everything would sort itself out. The whole family will be devastated as we were expecting him to come home," she added. I would like to see him freed and returned home like the British nurses from Saudi Arabia last week, but I can't afford to pay."
Mrs Stewart and her eight other children were unable to make it to the island for the trial.
And Stewart's brother said yesterday his family was devastated at the verdict. Paul Stewart, 29, insisted his brother was innocent of the murder. And he said relatives would now launch a campaign to clear his brother's name.
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
- 4 Headaches, fry ups, and hair of the dog - why do we get hangovers, and is there such thing as a 'cure'?
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...
£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...