A British expat has confessed to killing his glamorous wife at the start of his murder trial in Spain – before immediately claiming he couldn’t remember strangling and stabbing her to death after sex.
Wealthy father-of-two Geoffrey Elton, 57, insisted he was mad not bad following his shock confession seconds after he took to the witness stand on Monday.
The computer programmer told a court in Malaga that he lashed out after being humiliated in front of neighbours by his headteacher wife of 33 years Gloria Tornay, following a ‘mutual’ decision to divorce and a day of packing cases.
But he claimed he had no recollection of forcing their teenage son Alonso out of their £560,000 home in Estepona before stabbing the 58-year-old between 11 and 16 times.
The Brit, who also used to own a holiday home in Florida with his wife, has been held on remand in prison since the killing on March 9 2019.
His future options of a Spanish jail cell or a secure psychiatric centre followed by possible expulsion to the UK – laid out in court by his own defence team – now lie with the nine jurors.
Geoffrey Elton, 57, told a Malaga court he lashed out after being humiliated in front of neighbours by his wife of Gloria Tornay, following a ‘mutual’ decision to divorce and a day of packing cases (Pictured: Elton in court on Monday)
Elton (pictured at court with his lawyer) claimed he had no recollection of forcing their teenage son Alonso out of their £560,000 home in Estepona before stabbing the 58-year-old between 11 and 16 times
Elton admitted his crime moments after his lawyer Juan Antonio Lopez Alvarez said in an opening address: ‘He is dangerous but I want my client placed in a secure psychiatric centre, not jail, so he can be treated for the time experts consider necessary before he is expelled to the UK and prevented from re-entering Spain.’
Francisco Javier Urquia Perez, one of the two prosecutors seeking a 14-year prison sentence for the self-confessed killer – if jurors rule he is criminally responsible for his actions and convict him of murder – countered: ‘Not only did he commit this horrific crime but he had the gall to pretend he was mentally ill.’
Seeking to explain the presence of methadone and morphine found in ‘clean-living’ Gloria’s body, he added: ‘Geoffrey Elton drugged her to reduce her ability to defend herself.
‘He stabbed her so many times the handle on one of the knives he prepared was left embedded on her skin.
‘He shut off the electricity, threw the landline and three mobiles out of the house and forced his 15-year-son Alonso outside to increase his chances of successfully killing her before stabbing the youngster’s mum to death.
‘Today this man wants you to believe he was apparently mad when he did it. I say he did it because Gloria wanted a divorce and was going to leave him.
Wealthy father-of-two Elton, 57, insisted he was mad not bad following his shock confession seconds after he took to the witness stand on Monday (pictured with slain wife Gloria)
‘He lived off his wife and lived very well. I say he had planned it all before he went ahead with his vile crime.’
The lawyer, who described himself in court as a close friend of Spaniard Gloria and her family and is prosecuting Elton on their behalf, says she was stabbed 16 times.
State prosecutor Julio Angel Martinez Carazo says she was knifed 11 times after the Brit expat had sex with her before a failed bid to suffocate and then strangle her to death in the bedroom of their detached home on an upmarket residential estate near Estepona.
Alonso, now 18, was left screaming outside as his mum was attacked after his father’s allegedly ‘deliberate’ attempt to slow down the emergency services’ arrival.
She died after going into hypovolemic shock from massive blood loss.
The state prosecutor has admitted he accepts the self-confessed killer has a mental disorder, described in an indictment submitted to court ahead of the trial as an ‘extenuating circumstance’, but insisted he was conscious of his actions and should be held criminally accountable for them.
The first question Elton faced from the judge ahead of his 90-minute quiz by the prosecution and defence lawyers present in court was: ‘Did you kill your wife as the state prosecutor says?’
‘Yes’, he answered in Spanish despite the translator beside him.
The Brit, who also used to own a holiday home in Florida with his wife, has been held on remand in prison since the killing on March 9 2019 (pictured during his arrest)
‘I remember going to speak to my neighbours and Gloria laughing at me for not taking my mobile and beginning to say lies about me and I got very annoyed,’ he continued.
‘I went to buy beer and she drank most of it and she went to bed while I stayed in the front room.
‘I don’t remember trying to strangle her or stabbing her.
‘All I remember is the ambulance and the blue lights and my son Alonso with a knife in his hands outside the house. Nothing was pre-planned. I never drugged her, 100 per cent.’
Stressing he wasn’t accusing the teenager over the killing, he also claimed the divorce was a ‘mutual decision’ sparked by Gloria’s wish to move back to a small village near Ronda she hailed from, and insisted they had regular sex including an afternoon session the day of the killing despite their differences.
He admitted to cheating on his wife with another woman three years before ending her life but said Gloria had forgiven him.
He claimed in a rambling court address he hadn’t taken his phone to his neighbours’ place the day his wife was killed because he believed the police were bugging it and Gloria and her family were spying on him with the help of an unidentified friend who worked at the Jordanian Embassy.
Denying he had told doctors he had been ordered to murder her through a TV message, he said: ‘There were WhatsApp and YouTube messages and they affected me and could have had something to do with it.
‘They were all images. One was of a path to a calm sea with nice houses either side which I took to mean a picture of tranquility but another was of water breaking on rocks and I thought it represented danger.’
Elton’s trial, which continues today with evidence from the couple’s youngest son, is due to last three days before the jury retires to consider its verdict.
Alonso turned up at court for the first day of the trial with an elder brother but was not called to testify.