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An inmate with a child at today's special family picnic at Phuket Prison

Lee Aldhouse's New Phuket Friends Have an Improved Prison Ready and Waiting

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
PHUKET: Alleged killer Lee ''Pitbull'' Aldhouse will be made to feel as welcome as possible by the staff and inmates when he arrives at Phuket Prison on Saturday evening.

''We have added bunk beds and upgraded the bathroom and toilet facilities,'' Phuket Prison Commander Rapin Nichanon said today.

Around him, selected inmates were enjoying a picnic inside the prison with members of their families. The prison band was playing and there was a party atmosphere.

Aldhouse, the first wanted man to be extradited from Britain to Thailand, will make history when his flight from London via Bangkok touches down on Phuket on Saturday evening.

Police from Chalong, in Phuket's south, have already sought and been granted permission from authorities at Phuket International Airport to drive a police van onto the tarmac to greet the plane.

Flying to Phuket as Aldhouse's official escort will be Intranee Sumawong, Executive Director of International Affairs in Thailand's Attorney General's Department, who led the legal bid to have him brought back.

Soon after, Aldhouse will be taking in once again familiar sights and sounds as he returns to the holiday island he fled in 2010 in the wake of the ambush knifing murder of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow.

It's been a long battle to have Aldhouse returned to face trial on Phuket, where he once trained as a Thai boxer and gave many people the impression he was a bit of a thug.

Few people on Phuket have sprung to his defence. Fleeing the country immediately after the killing certainly increased the less than favorable impression that he had made on many people on Phuket.

Commander Rapin will greet him with proverbial open arms, being a reformer who tries to bring out the best in all the 1900 prisoners who are currently under his care.

The picnics are just one of the unusual aspects of Commander Rapin's family-friendly Phuket Prison.

He has even written to local mayors around the island, asking them to find people who might be willing to come along to befriend lonely young prisoners in need of guidance.

And his income-generating schemes allow female prisoners to massage members of the public and ''trusties'' to wash cars to supplement the small budget that Phuket Prison has for essentials.

''Prisoners at jails throughout Thailand have to be fed twice a day by law but prisoners on Phuket are fed three times a day,'' the commander said today.

''They also have two options at every meal.''

T-shirts and other goods made by the prisoners were for sale today. Prisoners often learn new skills, particularly at furniture making, that sometimes win them jobs and fresh hope on the outside.

Aldhouse has been in British jails since 2010, where cells are small and built for no more than four inmates. The dormitory-style accommodation at Phuket prison may come as a shock.

''The one thing we are powerless to do anything about is the overcrowding,'' Commander Rapin said. ''We have plans for a new, modern jail on Phuket but there is no budget for now.''

Aldhouse will find a sizeable proportion of ladyboy katoeys among prisoners. Some of them are said to not mind life on the inside and become repeat offenders to rejoin friends.

Khun Intranee, along with members of Dashawn Longfellow's family in the US, will be relieved when Aldhouse does find a bed in a dormitory at Phuket prison.

At one stage, Thai officials were believed to be prepared to build a Western-style cell to accommodate Aldhouse if that was necessary.

Not everyone in the justice system was as keen to see him returned to Thailand as Khun Intranee.

Back in 2010, the then superintendent of Chalong Police Station, Colonel Vichid Intharasorn, even questioned the logic of Thailand paying to imprison a man from one country who, it is alleged, happened to kill a man from another country on Phuket.

''If the Englishman is guilty of killing the American, then Thailand has to pay the cost of keeping him in jail for a long time, just because the murder took place here,'' he told Phuketwan back then.

''That does not seem right. We would like to send him back to serve his sentence in his home country.

''But will his country want him back? We would like to hear them say that they are prepared to take this accused man back.''

The colonel, it seems, was overruled by others.

Commander Rapin will probably have a few more schemes in mind to make money from jail activities to cover the cost of keeping Lee Aldhouse in prison, for as long as it takes.

CNN Report With Phuketwan

The 7-Eleven Video


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Ohlala that will make a lot of comments and attract international news Saturday and upcoming day, the first ever in a history of Thailand Brit extradited Ohlala... Watch out saturday at Phuket Airport, i guess Some Supporter or none supporter will be there Ohlala ...

Posted by Ratatooe on November 27, 2012 16:57


Dear Editor: I like the pic enclosed with this article ohlala Thats make a full statement thank you for the update Completed, I think you want to show the welcome back in Phuket and is new friends awaiting for Mr Aldhouse's ohlala

Posted by ratatooe on November 27, 2012 17:13


''They also have two options at every meal.''

a/ Fishhead with Rice.
b/ Rice with Fishhead.

Posted by Nick on November 27, 2012 17:15


I do not understand why he is going to be afforded social accommodations vis-a-vis other prisoners, And it does not matter whether he or his victim are foreigners. The law is the law and he should suffer the same treatment and subsequent consequences as anyone else who had committed a similar crime in this country.

Posted by Paoa on November 27, 2012 17:58


Interesting, unorthodox story, nicely told.

Posted by juswunderin on November 27, 2012 18:12


What a strange comment by Nick..

Khun Rapin should be commended for his attempts at some rehabilitation which as the article implies, is not so common in Thailand.

There is hope and sometimes people do change their lives and his attempt to reduce the recidivism should be supported.

Posted by Vfaye on November 27, 2012 18:16


"Commander Rapin will greet him with proverbial open arms, being a reformer who tries to bring out the best in all the 1900 prisoners..."

Good luck with Aldhouse, Commander.

Posted by Buster on November 27, 2012 18:26

Wednesday October 27, 2021
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