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Dennis Mark Knudsen, target of Aussie shooters, now facing a murder charge

Phuket Expat Who Was Target of Aussie Shooters Charged With Brutal Murder in Denmark

Sunday, June 8, 2014
PHUKET: A Dane who was the target of two Australians when they opened fire with a gun on a man passing by on a motorcycle in a Phuket street, but shot two tourists instead, has been arrested in Denmark and charged with murder.

The latest twist in a sensational case emerged with the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet reporting that the 25-year-old knifed his 33-year-old girlfriend to death in the bedroom of their apartment. She was 12 weeks pregnant.

Dennis Mark Knudsen - better known as Denny - had packed a suitcase and was waiting outside the couple's home in Svendborg when police arrived. The dead woman's two children, a girl aged five and a boy aged seven, were in the apartment at the time of the killing. the newspaper reported.

Although not identified by name in the article, as is often the procedure in Denmark, Ekstra Bladet says the accused man ''is far from unfamiliar with sitting behind bars.'' His record includes drug offences and a bank robbery in 2010. Other details link the man to the Phuket case.

Investigators from the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission are about to conclude their probe into the Phuket shooting in which two Australians were not charged with the attempted murder of Knudsen and escaped with light sentences for possession of a handgun.

John Cohen and Mark Shea allegedly fired a handgun at a person they thought was Knudsen as he rode past on the back of a motorcycle taxi in January last year in Soi Sansabai, a popular nightlife and residential street in Patong.

The shots hit two German tourists instead, inflicting wounds. However, in a remarkable turn of events, the Australians were only charged with possession of an unlicenced firearm in public, not attempted murder.

In April 2013, Cohen and Shea had jail sentences of six-and-a-half months and six months suspended for two years, and were ordered to pay fines of 7500 baht and 7000 baht respectively.

Officers from Patong's Kathu Police Station are now the focus of a PACC investigation.

Announcing the corruption probe into Patong police last month, the Secretary General of the PACC, Colonel Pravesana Mulpramook, told Phuketwan: ''The police investigators failed to provide the prosecutor with evidence from witnesses or all of the security camera footage.

''The accounts of witnesses and other security camera footage told a more complete story to what was presented in court. The witnesses' statements and the security camera footage was not presented by the police.

''There is a clear difference between what happened and what was portrayed in court. We have accepted the case. It appears the investigating officers did not do their jobs.''

The results of the PACC investigation are expected to become known next week.

Meanwhile in Denmark, Ekstra Bladet reports, Knudsen was out on bail at the time the Australians tried to kill him in Patong in a dispute over a 300,000 baht motorcycle.

It is believed Knudsen rented the ''big bike'' and sold it to the Australians as though he was the owner. Phuket police later arrested him and it is believed he was eventually deported to Denmark.

Knudsen was expected to appear in court in Denmark in a preliminary hearing on Sunday morning. No motive is known at this stage.

Deputy Police Inspector Henrik Justesen told Ekstra Bladet that Knudsen contacted a lawyer after the killing and the lawyer called police to the couple's apartment.

Just how Knudsen was allowed to enter Thailand when he had a long criminal record in Denmark is likely to now become another important aspect of the case.

Colonel Pravesana said that the Australian embassy initiated the Phuket corruption investigation by complaining to the PACC. If the PACC rules next week that Patong police deliberately overlooked the attempted murder, it's unclear whether fresh charges will be laid against the Australians.

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