A former professional wrestler who starred on TV has been arrested on suspicion of murder in Gran Canaria following the death of a woman believed to be his ex-wife. James “Jimmy” Breaks, 80, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was arrested after British woman Donna Cowley, 47, died in hospital nearly 24 hours following an alleged assault at her home on the Spanish island.

Breaks was a regular on TV when televised wrestling reached record audiences and won a number of championship belts before retiring from the pro ranks. Ms Cowley, who lived in Mogan, was initially described as Breaks’ partner, but regional government sources later described her as a former partner.

The alleged assault is said to have occurred just after midnight on Friday at an apartment in the holiday resort of Puerto Rico in the south of Gran Canaria. Ms Cowley died in an island hospital later the same day. Local police allegedly found the man they later detained sat on the sofa watching the TV when they turned up, and the woman bleeding in the bathroom. She was said to be fully conscious when they arrived on the scene.