A tragedy in the Spanish sun, three men with a mop and bucket, and a killer walking free

Andrew 'Ed' Walch
Andrew 'Ed' Walch -Credit:Facebook

Shortly after midnight on May 6, 2021, police were scrambled to the Island Village complex, close to Tenerife's tourist hotspot Playa de las Americas.

The whitewashed development on Avda Austria is home to a mix of locals and ex-pats. There had been reports of a stabbing at Apartment 310.

As officers neared the scene, they saw three men. One of them was carrying a mop and bucket.

The mop had been used to clean up the blood of Andrew Walch. His mortally-wounded body still lay in the doorway of the apartment.

It wasn't where he fell, but it was where the "kind and loving" dad-of-two would die. Moments earlier, as the 31-year-old lost a catastrophic amount of blood, his body was moved.

Witnesses heard him desperately calling for help as the three men walked past his body, in and out of Apartment 301.

To this day, his killer is still walking the streets.


Andrew Walch, known to his friends and family as Ed, fell in love with the island of Tenerife during a holiday in the summer of 2020. After moving out there from Preston, he spoke to his family back in the UK about his hopes to have his son and daughter over to stay.

An inquest today (May 13) heard Ed's family describe him as a 'Jack the lad', who could often rub people up the wrong way.

He had been 'known to police', and in the aftermath of his killing, they suggested Ed lost his life in the Island Village complex after a burglary went wrong.

A police report sent to a court in Arona at the time stated that Ed had gone to a home "with the intention of stealing drugs or money that could be inside".

But his family say this couldn't be further from the truth.

Ed died after being stabbed at the Island Village complex in Playa de las Americas
Ed died after being stabbed at the Island Village complex in Playa de las Americas -Credit:Google

The killing sparked a major murder investigation. Five people were arrested. They included another expat, British bar worker Jimmy Nicol.

He was remanded in custody on suspicion of murder pending the ongoing criminal investigation. He was never charged.

Preston Coroner's Court heard that several witnesses, including police officers, saw Nicol and two other men moving Ed's body and mopping up the blood on the night of May 6.

Ed's valuable watch had been taken from his body and the knife, which was used to stab him in the back, had been discarded. The 31-year-old was heard pleading "help, help" as his killer walked past his body and had a shower to wash away the blood.

After Nicol was arrested, he admitted stabbing Ed but claimed he had done so in self-defence. But the inquest heard how two Spanish pathologists refuted this.

Instead, they found the stab wound was "offensive and not defensive".

A police report from that night reads: "Police attended, a number of officers found Andrew semi-conscious lying on the floor in a pool of blood. The police officers came across three men; one was carrying a cleaning bucket. They weren't helping Andrew, they were trying to clean up the blood.

"Jimmi told police that he had opened the door and he was shoved back by Andrew. There had been a struggle and as a result Andrew received a stab wound. It was suggested by Jimmi that the knife had been brought.

"Jimmi then took a shower to get the blood from his body. They took [Ed] out to the staircase where they left him."

As news of Ed's death began to circulate, his family desperately tried to piece together rumours on social media. More than three years later, they have still never seen his body.

An aerial view over Playa de las Americas, Tenerife
Andrew Walch had moved to Tenerife for a better life

Area Coroner Kate Bisset described how police in Spain could see 'inaccuracies' in the stories of those in and around Apartment 301. She described Jimmi Nicol's account as "not credible", adding that "the argument of self-defence was dismissed".

A pathologist at the time said the fatal would was "unlikely" to have occurred accidentally.

Ed's mum Jeanette told the inquest: "The accused has changed his story twice. If it had been accidental the knife would still have been in place."

Court heard how the uncertainty has left Ed's family with more questions than answers about that tragic night. His sister says it made her question if he had "faked his own death".

Several witnesses, who lived in the Island Village complex, described seeing three men "go in and out of the house several times" after Ed was stabbed.

Despite evidence against Nicol a Spanish judge issued an order effectively halting any potential trial. The order can only be overturned by Ed's family - but at a cost of "thousands and thousands of pounds".

Reading from the court order, issued in 2022, Area Coroner Kate Bisset said: "The trial judge agreed a stay in the proceedings would take place. The accused, Jimmi Nicol, said that Andrew had been to his house and that he had admitted the stab wound but that it was self-defence. The judge found he wasn't credible and had changed his account."

The coroner admitted that even she was "amazed" that Nicol had not faced a trial accused of killing Ed. "We will probably never know exactly what happened," she said.

"There are an awful lot of things that don't make sense. What most reasonable people wouldn't do is shower, wash the blood off themselves and throw away the knife. But because of the quirks of the Spanish justice system that prosecution was stayed."

Returning a narrative conclusion, which Ms Bisset explained to Ed's family could not name his killer, she said: "Andrew Ashley Alexander Walch died on May 6, 2021. Mr Walch died as a result of stab wounds inflicted by an individual.

"Mr Walch's injuries are consistent with a violent death. He sustained injuries which are more likely to be offensively inflicted.

"If this was a death in this country you would have so much more support and information. I hope that one day you will get some resolution and justice."