SICKENING damage to a memorial in Spain for a Scot killed abroad has been discovered as the 10th anniversary of his death.

A specialist inquiry team searching for the truth after the death of Craig Mallon, who was killed by a single punch, discovered a plaque on a memorial bench to the 26-year-old had been left vandalised.

The disturbing find was made as former detective David Swindle visited the holiday resort of Lloret De Mar to highlight the case and continue to search for answers. He was alerted to the damage with a message from a local couple who walk past the bench most evenings.

Read more: Ben Nevis hike in memory of pal killed by single punch in Spain

It had Craig’s dates of birth and death inscribed on it and a message in Spanish which read: “In memory of Craig Mallon, the town of Lloret de Mar.”

HeraldScotland: Craig Mallon was killed while on holiday in Spain in 2012Craig Mallon was killed while on holiday in Spain in 2012

Mr Mallon, from Coatbridge, was killed in a single punch attack while his brother's stag party in Lloret de Mar on Spain’s Costa Brava on May 19, 2012.

Despite there being many eyewitness accounts and authorities discovering the group of key witnesses had left their hotel early, local officers were unable to solve the case.

His mother Antoinette went to her grave without seeing justice for her son, with her husband Ian saying she gave up after their son died and blames her death on what they went through.

Mr Swindle, who set up Victims Abroad to help families who lose loved ones, said it was important to return to Spain to mark 10 years since Mr Mallon was killed and pass on appreciation from his family to local residents who have shown their support over the years.

He said ironically the damage to the memorial bench highlighted that there is still no CCTV coverage at the scene  where Mr Mallon died 10 years on.

Read more: Parents of balcony fall death victim Kirsty Maxwell in bid to help others

“A memorial event was arranged and remembering Craig was a lovely thing to do,” said Mr Swindle. “The memorial bench is a place where his family can lay flowers and his name should never be forgotten.

“The plaque was in pieces and we don’t know if it was a case of someone trying to leave a message. We have reported it to the local town hall and we hope they will replace it. The damage to the bench should have been on CCTV, but yet there is still no CCTV at the scene.”

HeraldScotland: Damage to the memorial plaque is clearly visible. David Swindle, centre, has raised the issueDamage to the memorial plaque is clearly visible. David Swindle, centre, has raised the issue

Mr Swindle said it was important to go to the scene 10 years since Craig was killed as the culprit is still out there.

He added: “We wanted to raise the profile and get answers about various issues. We know that a group of French men were there and there have been attempts to trace them for three years through the court system, but what has actually happened?We want assurances that the authorities in Spain are doing everything they can to help Craig Mallon.

“It shouldn’t be that the family have to continue to press for answers. If we didn’t go there and ask questions, what would happen? We continue to push and speak to people in the square where he was killed and always will in the hope that it will raise awareness.”

Mr Mallon's father Ian hasn't given up hope about a breakthrough despite the length of time and frustrations.

 "It might be 10 years but if anyone knows anything please come forward. This has destroyed our family," Mr Mallon Snr said.

Mr Swindle was also disappointed that previously arranged meetings with Spanish legal representatives fell through with his investigation team being let down at the last minute.

He added: “We were due to meet in Girona with the hope that we would meet the lawyer, sadly that didn’t work out. I was stunned and angry and this kind of thing shouldn’t be happening it’s not fair on the families and we will be taking this matter further. What chance to families of victims abroad have when this happens.”

To mark the 10th anniversary since Mr Mallon died, his friends came together to raise funds for a charity set up to help people whose relatives have been killed abroad.

HeraldScotland: Craig Mallon's friends climbed Ben Nevis to help raise money for the Kirsty Maxwell TrustCraig Mallon's friends climbed Ben Nevis to help raise money for the Kirsty Maxwell Trust

The friends wanted to raise funds for the Kirsty Maxwell Trust, a charity set up by Kirsty’s parents Denise and Brian Curry to help families seeking help and justice after the death of a loved one abroad. Their daughter Kirsty died after falling from a balcony in the Spanish holiday resort of Benidorm in 2017. Her family are still searching for answers as to exactly what happened.

The group of 15 climbed Ben Nevis close to the anniversary of their friend’s death to keep Mr Mallon’s memory alive.

And they managed to raise more than £1500 which they are donating to the Kirsty Maxwell Trust.

And just days later the trust received another boost when the daughter of a man who died in unexplained circumstances in India decided to run the Edinburgh Half Marathon for the charity. Alice David-John raised more than £1000 following Sunday’s event.

Mr Mallon and Ms Maxwell’s cases have been highlighted in a series of podcasts, Swindle's Search for the Truth, which focuses on long-running unsolved cases.

To listen to the podcast go to https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/swindles-search-for-the-truth/id1619363761?i=1000564169755