Man held for violent murder originally pinned on Edinburgh GP

Edinburgh GP Colin Brown was arrested and thrown in a Gran Canaria jail after a German tourist was stabbed to death in 2007. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Edinburgh GP Colin Brown was arrested and thrown in a Gran Canaria jail after a German tourist was stabbed to death in 2007. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

POLICE in Gran Canaria have held a Moroccan man over a violent killing originally blamed on an Edinburgh GP.

GP Colin Brown, 49, was arrested and thrown into jail on the holiday island after German tourist Karl Heinz Thonningen, 44, was stabbed to death in what detectives described at the time as a ‘crime of passion’.

Mr Brown, who had battled drugs addiction before being caught up in the homicide case, was later released from custody and allowed to return to Edinburgh a free man after he was ruled out of the inquiry.

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He spent several weeks behind bars and months on bail in Gran Canaria with a travel ban imposed on him before he was told the case against him was being discontinued.

Today it emerged a 32-year-old Moroccan has been arrested on suspicion of the June 2 2007 killing of Thonningen in the popular resort of Maspalomas.

Respected island daily La Provincia said the unnamed suspect had been remanded in custody by an investigating judge on suspicion of homicide pending an ongoing probe.

Brown reportedly became the prime suspect in the case after he was discovered by police on the island taking an overdose in an apparent suicide attempt.

He was taken into custody despite denying he had met the victim on the night of the killing or shared a drink with him in a gay bar in the resort of Playa del Inglés.

Reports at the time said police suspected Brown had flown into a rage after discovering Thonningen had a steady partner.

The Scot, who had previously worked as a GP in Brighton, Sussex, had seen his successful medical career ruined by an addiction to cocaine and the date rape drug GHB, and was already suspended from practicing medicine when he was arrested.

He had run-ins with police in Scotland before his Gran Canaria detention, linked to his unsuccessful attempts to beat his drug addiction after moving back home and spells in the Priory Clinic.

In August 2011 it was reported he had been struck off the medical register at a hearing in Manchester after a failed attempt to resurrect his career following a series of suspensions.

Police in Gran Canaria said today they were not in a position to make any official comment.