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The small pocketknife, described in some media as a 20cm blade

UPDATE Indian Tourists Saved My Life, Says Aussie Expat Facing Phuket Murder Charge

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

Phuketwan is keen to talk to the tourists who were closely involved in the early morning scuffle outside Taipan nightclub in Patong that led to the death of a staff member and a charge of murder being laid against Australian expat Mark Pendlebury. Please telephone the editor on 089 6472731.

Original Report

PHUKET: An Australian expat charged with murder told Phuketwan in a police cell on Phuket today that he probably would have been killed if Indian tourists hadn't helped him flee a deadly scuffle outside a disco.

Mark Hamilton Pendlebury, better known to thousands of Phuket tourists as ''Captain Mark,'' had just helped a disabled Danish visitor home after a meeting of Patong Rotary when he happened to be strolling past the Taipan nightclub, near the Bangla Road walking street, as two customers were evicted.

''An Indian and an Australian had been fighting inside and were being thrown out,'' Mr Pendlebury, 59, said from his cell at Kathu Police Station, where officers oversee Patong, the popular nightlife hub on Phuket's west coast.

''I pulled out my camera to record what was happening and a security guard tried to stop me doing that. Before I knew it, I was being badly beaten up. I pulled out my knife and waved it back and forth to defend myself.

''A couple of Indians jumped in and with their help I was able to escape a little distance down the street. If the Indian tourists hadn't rescued me, I reckon I would be dead.''

Security cameras should have recorded the scene. But in some parts of Patong, cameras are disabled or turned the wrong way.

Phuketwan has confirmed that a short time earlier, Mr Pendlebury had been at a regular Rotary Club meeting at a nearby resort.

Noted for his generosity, Mr Pendlebury had volunteered to take along to the Rotary meeting a champion Danish surfer, Frederik Aakerlund, 48.

Mr Aakerlund, who lost both legs in a military action in 2007, now does his best to inspire disabled children and competes against able-bodied surfers. Two months ago in Patong, he was attacked by thugs in daylight. He has just left hospital.

Mr Pendlebury, who has run a boating business on Phuket since 2004, was planning to take Mr Aakerlund on an outing on Thursday as part of his recuperation.

Instead, he is now in a cell on a murder charge.

Taipan security guard Sanya Khluewaengmon, 26, from Lopburi province,was taken with Mr Pendlebury to Patong Hospital after the altercation about 12.30am.

Khun Sanya died about 90 minutes later.

Expat friends of Mr Pendlebury and Australia's honorary consul, Michelle Hawryluk, went to the Kathu Police Station today as officers assessed the case and charged him with murder.

The new superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Chaiwat Auikam, told Phuketwan that the investigation was continuing.

Around the island, other expats were shocked to hear that ''Captain Mark'' had been charged with murder. His offer to help disabled surfer ''Fred'' is typical of his character, friends said.

Mr Pendlebury's first sailing tour business was established in 2004 and he has since opened a second business that aims to show visitors the natural environment of Phuket, ''one of the wonders of the world.''

Captain Mark is seldom seen without his captain's pipe and hat, but today was one of those days.

VIDEO Phuket Murder Aftermath


Comments have been disabled for this article.


You don't need to carry a knife in my opinion. He admits to using one.

Posted by Anonymous on March 11, 2015 12:26

Editor Comment:

People who work on boats often carry knives.


From the article it's clear case of self-defense. Hope CCTVs records exists and we will not hear strange excuse that they don't ..

Such a hurry of police already to charge with a murder? Has they checked CCTV? How they can put charges without ascertaining all facts?

In other similar cases it takes days to even to start talk about charges.

Posted by Sue on March 11, 2015 12:34


Has Mr. Pedlebury been provided with a lawyer before he started to give testimony and acknowledged possibly self-incriminating facts??
Or he was just left alone, doing the best what was in his opinion at the moment - and possibly legally compromising, and then police will build a case for a court just on that?
He should be informed about lawyer presence before any questioning, it's apparent requirement of CPC, without any tricks that "if you call a lawyer it will takes too long time, we will have to keep you in cell, so better answer our questions now and we will let you go".

Posted by Sue on March 11, 2015 12:59

Editor Comment:

He is getting legal help.


Tai Pan security guards attacked Mr.Pedlebury out of habitual presumptions that they're , as usually, will be exonerated for attack on foreigner, so they can act as they please, and then somehow they considered public street a place of where employment mandate is extended to.
However Tai Pan people hold no domain over public street , they have zero right to impose there "their order" .
Obviously, Tai Pan thugs felt that Mr.Pedlebury's behaviour is impolite and insensitive in extreme, to hard work of security in evicting customers - by filming an incident he apparently failed to sympathize with TaiPan, and, what's a crime,may be sympathized with evictees.
Or may be they, upon their computer games experience , felt endangered by his camera, fearing of laser blast and make everything around into ashes?
So they decided to punish him for his apparent misdeeds.

Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn on 2nd of March in the UN in strongest terms upheld freedom of expression, that includes a right to freely collect and seek information.
What Mr.Pedlebury did is exactly that, it is his " protected interest" to do.
Tai Pan thugs attacked him with an aim to prevent collecting such information , on public street - so greatly violated his universal rights , moreover did it intentionally exactly with a purpose to prevent him of realizing these rights.
This also should be taken into account when evaluating the incident.

Actually, it was that you walking on the street, ex resigning your constitutional rights on collecting information in public place, then unlawfully attacked by thugs, there is no police to keep an order and come to help, you have to use a fatal weapon in self-defense, again no police, you have to flee the scene fearing for your life - and here we go! - of course, "farang is always guilty" when it concerns Thais.

Mr.Pedlebury should be released immediately. If police believe there are charges possible above self-defrock, then on bail, but not kept in the cell - since most of suspects are usually released.
He should be given appropriate legal assistance. All statements which have been made prior lawyer arrived should be revoked , as police most probably failed in execution of their duty to inform him of his rights.
Then new testimony should be given, after consultations with lawyers and in their presence.

Posted by Sue on March 11, 2015 14:31

Editor Comment:

Indeed. Mr Pendlebury had every right to take photos. That point may need to be made over and over again. Security guards in Patong are not noted for their non-violent approach to trouble.


I still miss in phuketwan publicing what captain Mark's wounds are, why he had to be treated in Hospital. He could have died too if security guard assault was more serious?

Posted by Kurt on March 11, 2015 14:59

Editor Comment:

A head wound and a cut of some description appear to be evident.


and helping a guy who police would not help because they were too lazy to go through CCTV footage. I hope this brings more light to his case.

Another stupid tragic story in Phuket.

Posted by Vfaye on March 11, 2015 15:13

Editor Comment:

The case involving Fred is different and that attack has never been reported to police.


Security guards at bangla and around Jungceylon are continues overstepping their 'authority". Actually their authority is NONE. Some time ago I did park at 10PM outside the side road of Junceylong, to pick up a friend. A khaki dressed security guard came, telling me that spot was only for limousines,( not true). While I talked with him through open car window , refusing to leave, he tried to get my car key from the ignation. Than my dog did get him at his under arm. He pleaded mercy and I ordered my dog off. Time Senior police ( if available) steps in and regulate security guards behavior. Many of them behave very bad.

Posted by Kurt on March 11, 2015 15:17


Very sad news I know the good Captain very well .. I must thank Phuketwan for their factual reporting unlike other outlets who seem to relish on sensational headlines rather than facts ... And to the Editor ... you are quite right Boaties often carry knives ..I do too to cut up fruit and things as I have seen the good Captain do so its not unusal ... thank you again for your factual report

Posted by Lozza2559 on March 11, 2015 15:22

Editor Comment:

There has been some shameful reporting. Hard to understand why reputable publications don't undertake their own independent reporting, relying instead on bought-in copy from outside sources. in cases like this, it shows.


"People who work on boats often carry knives.' But he was not working on a boat at the time - he had been attending a Rotary meeting. I often use knives but don't take them out with me on the town. Mind you now Sue's on the case......................! Any comment from Bob, the owner of Taipan?

Posted by Mister Ree on March 11, 2015 15:45

Editor Comment:

If Bob witnessed the incident, we'd welcome his comment. The issue that involves Bob is whether his guards are told to stop photographs being taken in the public road outside his premises.


Amazing - without even having been there, PW readers purport to know exactly what happened!

Posted by Matt on March 11, 2015 16:08


@Sue, Have you ever Read Gone With The Wind? The movie time is 238mins, get my drift, Sue, hint, hint. Ed must get so bored when the word Sue pops we go again Gone With The Wind.

Posted by Too Many Words on March 11, 2015 16:29


It must have been a lot of Witness to this tragic fight. I hope police can get in contact with them to get a real picture what really happen. However - no need to carry a knife in public area no matter if you are a Captain or not.

Posted by Mj on March 11, 2015 17:17

Editor Comment:

The question that can't be answered is whether he would be alive if he hadn't had the knife.


why charges of murder...if anything shouldn't the initial asumption be manslaughter?

Posted by sky on March 11, 2015 17:18

Editor Comment:

Not on this preliminary evidence.


I really hope Mark is ok. We've sailed with him a couple of times on day trips and he is a lovely gentle guy. I can't imagine hm initiating any sort of violence.

Posted by pete59 on March 11, 2015 17:58



You are so correct! This know it all group in particular Sue seems to thrive on coming up with answers based on not knowing all the facts. Quick justice is often meaningless. Sue take a swim and give the computer a break.

Posted by Anonymous on March 11, 2015 18:29


Going on facts reported:

He should not have been carrying a knife
(boat people carrying knives does not carry weight with me, no boats on Bangla last time i checked)

Security should have had no interaction with (much less try to give orders to) someone who was neither on premises nor trying to enter said premises. Their job is get troublemakers out (or contain them until police show up if warranted) and stop them entering again, nothing more (something vast majority of "security" in Thailand need to learn)

Posted by Lashay on March 11, 2015 18:32


A Disco like Tai Pan and all other Discos should also have CCTV outside and inside as I can imagine that many arguments, Fighting in those kind of places can occur. The Police must be able to check those Videos that could clear what exactly happen during that night.

Posted by MJ on March 11, 2015 20:05


Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is a Great American Novel. I should know, I've read it about 10 times.

Posted by The Literary Mare on March 11, 2015 21:06

Editor Comment:

That means you've given up the opportunity to read nine other great novels. Reading the same book over and over again is ok if there are 10 years and 1000 other novels between each reading. I thought the movie was regarded more highly than the novel? Rewatching the movie would certainly save you a lot of time. How long before you know it by heart?



he has been carrying knife, obviously, having "reasonable cause" - as it is proved by the sequence of events - as Ed precisely concluded, it helped him stay alive in course of attack.

There is no blanco ban on carrying knives:

Penal Code
Section 371
Whoever, carries arms in a town, village or public way openly or without a reasonable cause, or carries arms in a gathering assembled for worship, entertainment or any other purpose, shall be punished with fine not exceeding one hundred Baht, and the Court, shall have the power to forfeit such arms.

Evaluation whether carrying a knife was justified is done on case-by case manner and is at discretion of law enforcement officers. Some of interpretations are that Swiss knife for a woman traveling alone in a car is a reasonable cause, but if in company of three persons in a car, then not, and is punishable offence.

Posted by Sue on March 12, 2015 01:07



May be it is useful to publish UPDATE part on social media, FB/TW, to attract more attention?

I'm curious if those Indian tourists were identified, whether they are ready to testify and also speak to media.

Posted by Sue on March 12, 2015 01:23

Editor Comment:

We would like the Indian tourists and the Australian involved in the fight to come forward.



there are not only pictures, but also text under pics - and there are described known facts on the story - and in quite comprehensive manner.

Of course, a person who is under threat of criminal charges, may lie and completely misled others, incl. PW, but as long as there is no other account of events, it is pretty valid material for analysis.

Posted by Sue on March 12, 2015 02:16


"Too Many Words" alleges that Sue went all Pedant over Mr. Pendlebury.

It's not an isolated incident, like the alleged knifing on Bangla Road.

But Sue means well, and adds value in increments, once you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Same problem with me, but I have no English Second Language "excuse," so I'm worse off than Sue..

Posted by farang888 on March 12, 2015 04:36


Another scar on Patong's reputation. It happens time and time again. Thugs in Thailand want us foreigners out to do as they see fit

Posted by Damien on March 12, 2015 17:55


To editor comment:
Even if people with boats carries knife they should not use the knife towards other humans - if he did not have the knife on him, he would not have used it and a boy of age of 25 would still be breathing and enjoy life!
There is no excuse when anyone take up a knife toward someone.

Posted by xxx on March 14, 2015 13:23


@xxx, you are an idiot, when fighting for your life, especially when you have MULTIPLE attackers, you use ANYTHING you can get your hands on... the option is your death... time to grow up, this is the real world, not your fantasy world.

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 14, 2015 14:52


Laurie Howells,
If everyone should walk around with knifes and if/when attacked could use them in self defense, is that the right way to go?

It does not matter that the Aussie guy is a "nice guy normally" the fact still person is dead. A 25 old/young man, would you think the same if its was your son that died?
It is someone beloved family member that is gone- forever

I do not defense the attackers, they did wrong, beaten up an older man that is still alive.

The world would be a much danger place then today if everyone was allowed to use knifes when get attacked. America is good example of this.

Would he be able to be out of jail in 48 hours if this happen in his country Australia for 500 000 Thb? Don't think so.

I do not believe he is a murder...
Think its more a prove that the corruption is still very much around in Phuket, 2 young (maybe innocent) Burmese is still in prison.... its all about who you know in Thailand...and the Aussie he know people.

To call someone "idiot" because I have another opinion, not sure what I think about that, I could be the 25 years old pregnant wife, would you still call me idiot then??

Posted by xxx on March 14, 2015 16:46

Editor Comment:

''Idiot'' should have been moderated out but some uncivil commenters are inclined to hurl lame insults.
Mr Pendlebury has a Thai wife and a business, things the Burmese men lack. And the ability to post 500,000 baht. His passport is being held, though.


@xxx Unfortunately either way some one was going to get seriously injured or die in this awful situation. It is tragic that somebody did die. It could have worked both ways. I know that if I was fighting for my life I would use anything I could for my protection. I have on occasion seen Mark clean his pipe with his knife and I know of people who carry multi tools which have a knife in the set.

Posted by QuizzKing on March 14, 2015 17:01


@xxx, I stand by my comment . . . (moderated)

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 14, 2015 21:01

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