Steven Allford was found dead, lying face down on a bench in Malaga Airport in 2016 with his genitals inside a tuna can and slices of ham on his exposed buttocks. An investigation was immediately launched into the mysterious death, and three men have finally been tried and jailed for manslaughter. Allford was homeless at the time and sleeping rough near the arrivals lounge when he was found, tied to the bench with his trousers pulled down around his ankles. He had been attacked by three fellow rough sleepers James O’Byrne, 59, from Cork, Ireland and Jussi Petteri Munck, 41, and Mika Tapio Soininem, 48, both from Finland, who were this week sentenced for two and a half years each after admitting manslaughter.
Port-mortem investigations revealed that Allford had choked to death on his own vomit after a heavy drinking session, and was targeted in a row over food. He had several feuds with other men who were sleeping rough at Malaga Airport because he refused to share food and drink with them, dispelling the initial idea police had that he was targeted as a homophobic hate crime. Officers were handed a video that was recorded and posted to Facebook by one of the suspects, that showed the group of friends trying Allford to the bench despite him clearly being drunk and led to the eventual arrest of O’Byrne in Algeciras, near Malaga.
Judge Santiago Calvo Cervera said in court: "They didn’t just tie him to the bench, something which Mr Munck checked had been done, but they filmed Mr Allford and were also laughing about his temporary helplessness. They ended up putting a lit cigarette in his mouth after having put it in his buttocks and introduced his naked testicles into an empty tuna can. They acted as if they were narrating a news report and posted the video on to the Facebook of Soininem, the person who filmed what was happening. When they had had a good laugh, they left Mr Allford to his fate. Because of his drunkenness, and because of the fact it was almost impossible for him to move because of the plastic ties, he would end up dying after choking on his own vomit, something the accused could have easily avoided with a call to make sure Mr Allford received medical attention.
Mr Allford's life remains a mystery, and there is no information on why he ended up sleeping rough at one of Spain’s busiest holiday airports. It's understood that he was adopted as a child and had served time in prison in France and Spain. Allford had only been in Spain for about a week before he died.