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No Bail for Phuket Aussies on Shoot Charge as Police Reinforce Patong

Friday, January 25, 2013
PHUKET: Fifty police are to reinforce officers in Patong, senior commanders decided yesterday after two Australians allegedly shot two German tourists by mistake.

Australians John Edward Cohen, 33, and Adam Lewis Shea, 26, were remanded in custody in Phuket Prison yesterday after briefly apearing in court to face charges of attempted murder and illegal possesion of a weapon.

The pair will appear in court again every 12 days until the Phuket prosecutor is ready to proceed with the case against them, a senior Patong officer said last night.

''The network of security cameras around Patong is now so comprehensive that the men were both arrested in different parts of Patong within 15 minutes,'' said Colonel Akanit Danpitaksat, deputy superintendent of the local station.

Early last month, Mr Cohen went to Patong police to complain that a Danish man named Dennis had rented a motorcycle from him but had not paid the bill for two months' rent.

Mr Cohen, who runs several tattoo shops in Patong, went looking for Dennis on Tuesday night, carrying a photograph and questioning hotels whether they had seen Dennis.

He and Mr Shea were walking down Soi Sansabai, the colonel said, when he thought he saw Dennis riding past on a motorcycle.

''Outside the Family Mart store, Mr Cohen fired two shots and hit two German tourists by mistake,'' Colonel Akanit said.

While bystanders helped Johann Baschenegger, 41, and Joseph Woerner, 71, police pursued Mr Cohen and Mr Shea and quickly apprehended them both.

Mr Cohen had confessed to the shooting but had yet to say how he obtained the gun, a Ruger P345, the colonel said.

Senior police from southern police headquarters met with police on Phuket yesterday and opted to reinforce the number of police on the island.

Last year, soon after a knife-wielding robber killed Australian grandmother Michelle Smith, 60, Australian Ambassador James Wise called on police on Phuket to try to clear the island of all weapons.

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So Mr. Cohen was looking for Dennis apparently not to collect the debt, but to shoot him right away. Lovely lad. I hope the police also investigate if Mr. Cohen paid taxes on his various businesses. Anyway, Phuket seems to have ripped the crown off Pattaya as the new crime capital of Thailand - congratulations and good luck to all of you living there.

Posted by Swami K. on January 25, 2013 10:25

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Crazy Aussie, please, keep him in jail for a couple of years.
Thailand, now the country in Asia with highest percent of guns in private hands. Actually a very dangerous country due to statistic. Sorry to say, but Phuket is lost as a family resort Island.

Posted by cw on January 25, 2013 20:10

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How can it be attempted murder when it was a so called accident that the tourists were shot .the attempted murder charge could be justifiable in the case of the Dane if they find him or the best they could do with the Germans is attempted manslaughter or reckless endangerment of life .

Posted by P win on January 25, 2013 21:57

Editor Comment:

Most people would draw that conclusion, P win. Firing a gun at someone is not exactly wishing them ''Happy Birthday.''

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@p win, what they wanted to do? Shoot the Dutch. That is attempted murder, if planned etc. here they carried a gun, ask for the guy and when they did see him, they opened fire, thats pretty close to a slam dunk for attempted murder, even if they did if not even hit him...,

for wounding the random victims like shooting for fun on a public road, it could also be attempted murder if they were thinking about killing just anyone. Surely random victims can be murdered. But not the case here.

Posted by Lena on January 27, 2013 21:12


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