At the scene of the incident in Arenal. | Archive

On April 6, 2019, Gerardo J. deliberately ran over four teenagers in Arenal. He was sentenced to 24 years for attempted murder - six years for each of the four victims. The Balearic High Court has now partially upheld an appeal and reduced the sentence to 20 years, five years for each.

At around 3.30am, Gerardo J. was at the Coco Rico club, where he got into an argument with one of the four. This carried on outside and developed into a fight. They were eventually separated.

He got into a Renault Clio, which was being driven by an underage grandson of ‘La Paca’, the historical matriarch of the Son Banya shanty town. As they were leaving, he threatened the boy with whom he had been fighting.

Some minutes later, by which time the club had closed, he returned, driving a stolen Ford Fiesta at high speed and in the wrong direction. The court in Palma which handed out the original sentence stated that he had driven at a group of some 30 young people "with the intention of causing death". He rammed four of them and collided with a tree and fences. He then got out of the car, into the Renault Clio and fled the scene.

At the trial, he only answered questions from his lawyer. He said that he had been drinking whisky and had been smoking dope. He insisted that it had been an accident: "I remember that I tried to hit the brakes but they didn't respond." He denied having manoeuvred the car in order to run people over. It was calculated that he had been driving at 100 kilometres per hour.