Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thailand: British Kickboxer, 29, Extradited in Homicide of US Marine Veteran, 23, in Phuket

According to AFP, British kick-boxer Lee Aldhouse, 29, AKA "The Pit-Bull," pleaded guilty in Phuket on Wednesday (August 28) in the stabbing death of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow, 23, in Phuket in 2010.

Thai prosecutors allege that Aldhouse stabbed Longfellow, who was in Phuket after sustaining a combat injury in Afghanistan at the time.

After killing Longfellow, Aldhouse fled to the United Kingdom in 2010 and was eventually extradited back to Thailand under a century-old extradition treaty.

COMMENT: Aldhouse's attorney, Kampon Siriwatunyoo told AFP  that his client was pleading guilty to Longfellow's homicide, without explaining a change in his original plea.

Prosecutor Chaingsaen Panya said Aldhouse's hearing was expected to start on September 2 and would hear the testimony of at least three witnesses.

Aldhouse fled to Britain after Longfellow was stabbed but was arrested upon arrival and detained for almost two years while he fought extradition to Thailand.

The Briton lost his extradition battle and in December 2012 became the first Briton in more than a century to be sent to Thailand for trial.

Reportedly, the Home Office has been assured by Thai prosecutors that Aldhouse would not face the death penalty.

The kick-boxer, who had been training and competing in Thailand, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on August 18, 2010, after he fled Thailand to avoid arrest in Longfellow's murder.

In details not reported in the media, the Marine war veteran was apparently attacked in his apartment in Phuket on August 14, 2010, following an earlier fight in a bar in Phuket.

As I have said so often in the past, there are always options available when a life is snuffed out between two people, which is why I contend that the Royal Thai Police have not done a very ineffective job in reducing disputes and altercations between foreigners, particularly in cases fueled by the over-consumption of alcohol.

The underlying causation of this increase in ineffective law enforcement and the unnecessary loss of life is a direct result of Thai police not using proactive intervention in preventing conflict-based fatalities when such intervention could actually save lives. 

This report will be updated as new information is made available.