Young killer released from prison in Madrid

ANOTHER of the youths sentenced for the murder of Sandra Palo in Madrid in 2003 has been released from prison. He was 16 when he committed the crime with another two minors and an adult, and served the beginning of his sentence in a centre for minors until he was transferred to Estremera Prison in Madrid in 2009 when he was 23. He will now be under surveillance for at least five years.

Another youth, Rafita, was released in 2007, after spending four years in a centre for minors, and has continued to commit crimes such as robbery and car theft ever since.

On the evening of May 17, 2003, 22-year-old Sandra Palo, who was mentally handicapped, was walking home with a friend, also handicapped, after they missed the last bus home.

Fate led them to cross paths with four youths joyriding in a stolen car. Rafita, just 14, was in the back of the car, his cousin ‘Malaguita’ was driving, and two other minors, Ramon, recently released, and Ramoncin were with them. They were looking for some action.

They stopped and forced Sandra and her friend into the car at knifepoint, telling her they were going to rape her while she sobbed and pleaded with them. They decided to let the young boy go, but he was so scared he was unable to report what had happened to Sandra. She was then taken to some wasteland and raped by three of the boys, Rafita “didn’t feel like it”, but he did help to hold her down. When they finished and she was in tears trying to dress herself, they got into the car and ‘Malaguita’ stepped on the accelerator, smashing her body into a wall more than ten times. She still attempted to get up and they ran her over, even holding her while the ‘Malaguita’ drove at her legs.

At trial, they claimed they were fascinated by the sound it made. When she could no longer move, they went by car to a nearby petrol station and bought €1 worth of petrol, telling the attendant it was for a friend. When they returned, she was still trying to get up, but they doused her in petrol, set fire to both her and the car, and left on foot.

Rafita and the other boys who murdered Sandra had more than 700 official reports against them, mainly for vandalism.

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