Ex-pat Olympic diver and wife shot dead in Spain

A BRITISH former Olympic diver and his wife have been found shot dead on a sofa at their villa in a “sleepy” Spanish village.
Peter Tarsey competed for Britain at the 1956 Olympics. Picture: PAPeter Tarsey competed for Britain at the 1956 Olympics. Picture: PA
Peter Tarsey competed for Britain at the 1956 Olympics. Picture: PA

Peter and Jean Tarsey, who were both 77, were discovered at their home in Xalo, near Benidorm in eastern Spain, on Sunday afternoon.

Spanish police said that while they had not ruled any line of inquiry out, the couple appeared to have been murdered.

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Mr Tarsey competed for Great Britain at the Melbourne Games in 1956 and for England at two Commonwealth Games.

The couple had been living in Spain for around two decades but are thought to have originally been from west London.

They reportedly have two grown up sons, Alexei and Sascha, one living in London and the other in Palma de Mallorca.

A spokeswoman for the Guardia Civil police force said: “Some friends of the couple went to their villa because they had not been seen for a few days.

“They found the door was open and there were no signs of a break-in.

“The couple, who had been living in Spain for 18 years, were found dead with gunshot wounds on the sofa.

“The Guardia Civil is now awaiting the results of post-mortem examinations and investigations continue.”

Xalo, a small village of around 2,700 people, is located inland some 25 miles north-west from popular coastal resort Benidorm.

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Village mayor Joan Miquel Garces told the Spain Report website: “At first the Civil Guard thought it was domestic violence, but they told me this morning they had ruled out both domestic violence and suicide. They are looking for a third person as the attacker.

“The local police told me they [the Tarseys] ate lunch every Sunday with some English friends, who were waiting for them yesterday.

“When they didn’t show up, the friends got worried and called the police. It’s a very strange feeling because nothing like this has ever happened here before. We all know each other, it’s very strange.”

Locals were described as “shocked” by the incident and Britons also took to social media to express their surprise at the Tarseys death in what they described as a quiet village.

AJ Barnett, who lives in Xalo, tweeted: “It’s a sleepy little Spanish backwater, not a violent city centre.”

Brittany Jones said: “I can’t believe someone’s been shot in Xalo when it’s the most remote place ever.”

Mr Tarsey competed in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics for Great Britain and represented England at the Commonwealth Games in 1954 and 1958, according to the Sport Reference website. The site says he came third in springboard in 1958, and fourth in platform in both 1954 and 1958.