TWO men who kidnapped, tortured and murdered a North Wales couple on a house-hunting trip to Spain, have lodged an appeal against their conviction.
Jorge Real Sierra, 56, and his brother-in-law, Jose Antonio Velazquez, 41, were jailed last month at Alicante Provincial Court for the murders in September, 2002, of Linda O'Malley, 55, and her husband Anthony, 42, from Llangollen.
The two men received jail sentences totalling more than 100 years between them for murder, kidnapping, theft, extortion and other offences, after a five-day trial.
Now lawyers representing the two Venezuelans have formally lodged notice of appeal.
Classic car restorer Anthony and shop manager Linda left their home on the Horseshoe Pass in August 2002 to find their dream home in the sun.
They had transferred more than £17,000 to a Spanish bank in case they were able to purchase a property.
During their search they spotted a small 'ad' in an English newspaper for a property, which appeared to be what they wanted.
The 'ad' was a con. The two Venezuelans had rented the property which they then offered 'for sale'.
Mr and Mrs O'Malley viewed the property and at first said they were interested and would return with a deposit.
But overnight they had a change of heart and decided to do the decent thing by returning to tell the 'owners' they had changed their minds.
The Venezuelan pair snatched the couple and kept a terrified Mrs O'Malley bound and gagged in a sweltering hot basement while Mr O'Malley was forced to visit shops and cash machines and empty the couple's savings.
Their erratic spending alerted their relatives - and North Wales Police - that something was very seriously wrong.
When the money ran out Anthony was suffocated, while a post-mortem showed Linda had died from a heart attack, probably frightened to death.
The couple's bodies were found buried in the house six months later after the two Venezuelans had been arrested - still using the couple's hire car - in Valencia in March, 2003.
When the trial ended and heavy sentences were handed out, the family welcomed the result and were full of praise for the part North Wales Police played in the case.
The appeal, which is not expected to take place for many months, will be heard at the Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid.