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Dog pack attack victim Mark Pendlebury: Time for commitment to safety

Police Must Switch On And End Brutality

Monday, March 16, 2015
VIDEO of Fatal Stabbing Outside Taipan in Patong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hn6TsoSx2g&feature=youtu.be

PHUKET: When Kurt Trotnow was bashed into a deep coma in a so-called ''dog pack attack'' near the nightclub end of Patong's Soi Bangla walking street, alarm bells should have sounded for international envoys and Phuket police.

The 53-year-old German expat got into an argument over whether a tuk-tuk fare should be 100 baht or 200 baht one night in 2011. In retaliation, he was jumped by a gang of drivers. He came close to being killed.

After the brutal stomping, Kurt Trotnow required skull surgery on Phuket and later in Germany. Nobody was ever arrested for the crime.

That attack took place about the same spot in the row of parked tuk-tuks near Taipan nightclub where 59-year-old Australian expat Mark Pendlebury found himself fighting for his life last week.

The reason: he had simply been trying to use his mobile camera in a public street to record an eviction from Taipan.

There was no legitimate reason why he should have been chased up the street and attacked.

A young security guard was stabbed and killed as the Australian fought for his life. Mr Pendlebury said that he only survived because of the intervention of two tourists.

They may have been Indian or from the Middle East, he couldn't remember precisely.

We looked at his forehead last week and saw what seemed to be the marks of the sole of a boot on his forehead.

Sadly, there was no security camera footage of the attack on Kurt Trotnow.

Fortunately for Mr Pendlebury, there was one security camera version of the attack on him. The mystery is why there was only one camera trained on a section of road that has become notorious for attacks.

Since the murder of Australian tourist Michelle Smith in 2012 in Kata Noi, south of Patong, the west coast tourist nightlife hubs are supposed to have been peppered with security cameras as part of a community safety zone project.

The tragic attack that led to the death of 26-year-old Sanya Khluewaengmon last week showed that the safety zone project no longer seems as reliable as it should be.

''About 50 percent of the security cameras in Patong are out of action,'' a source with knowledge on the topic told a Phuketwan reporter. For obvious reasons, the contact prefers to remain anonymous.

Fortunately for Mark Pendlebury, the one single piece of security camera footage supports his account of what happened in the street outside Taipan and the nearby tuk-tuk rank last week.

Without that footage, he would be struggling to combat the initial reports that were quickly spread by police to an eager, accepting media: that he was drunk, and that he had attacked the security guard with a 20-centimetre knife.

There appears to be a tendency for Patong police and some Phuket media outlets to accept these kinds of biased accounts all too quickly without objective, independent research.

According to protocols agreed between the international diplomatic community and Phuket administrators and police, the Australian embassy or the local honorary consul should have been advised immediately of Mr Pendlebury's arrest.

An alleged murder is clearly a major incident.

Several hours after the attack, it was a Phuketwan reporter calling for comment who alerted envoys to the incident.

By that time, Mr Pendlebury had either already been charged with murder or was about to be charged with murder.

Police have also since told Phuketwan that they will not question the tuk-tuk drivers about the death of Khun Sanya unless Mr Pendlebury accuses the drivers of involvement.

We hope that Australian embassy officials - who flew from Bangkok for Mr Pendlebury's successful bail application - continue to suggest to Patong police that their investigation should be as fair and broad as possible.

The hope is that more security camera footage emerges and that independent eyewitnesses who are not security guards or tuk-tuk drivers will come forward.

Regrettably, many of the police now in senior positions across the holiday island are from previous posts where they had no interaction with tourists.

Those officers need to be reminded regularly about the protocols of informing national representatives immediately there's a major incident.

One of the many good points about the three-monthly meetings between the island's honorary consuls and administrators and police was the constant reminder that Phuket is an international Thai destination, with shared obligations to support the safety of residents, tourists and expats.

The fact that those meetings are not being held any more reflects poorly on the outlook of the island's present governor and his predecessor.

Both of them have proven to be extremely reluctant to listen to consuls and envoys, the representatives of the tourists and expats.

As time passes without reminders, it means that the police on Phuket will grow more ignorant about international protocols and standards.

It also means that despite the best intentions of the ''Patong Safety Zone,'' repairing or redirecting the 50 percent of security cameras that are out of action or pointed in the wrong direction is not a priority.

The cracking of Kurt Trotnow's skull and other ''dog pack attacks'' down the years should have led to local authorities peppering that part of Patong with security cameras.

There's just one that we're aware was there. Are there more?

The way Patong works, without that camera Mark Pendlebury's account that he was initially the innocent victim would have been difficult to substantiate.

Phuket's authorities must now show their commitment to the ''Patong Safety Zone'' by erecting cameras that reveal all that happens in future in that stretch of road.

Restoring the honorary consuls' meetings immediately would also be a wise initiative.

VIDEO of Fatal Stabbing Outside Taipan in Patong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hn6TsoSx2g&feature=youtu.be

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Sorry to say I doubt the Police or their bosses, the tuk-tuk drivers, would ever accept a "safety zone" that would record their actions. This is a job for the big boy's in BKK to implement.

Posted by hotgem on March 16, 2015 12:48

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Your haste to portray the man who committed the killing as in fact the victim, is nothing less than astounding. We can assume, can we, that PW has interviewed all who were present? Surely you would not base your reporting and your opinions solely on the statements of an accused murderer, would you?

Posted by Matt on March 16, 2015 14:10

Editor Comment:

We can assume that PW has watched the security camera footage, which is totally in contrast to the initial reports that came from the police . . . and that's what should worry you. You may, of course, be an utter pratt, matt, and we don't require a separate video for that.

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Thailand belongs to Thai people. Their house their rules. Keep your nose out of their business and they'll thank you for it. Interfere and suffer the consequences. Thainess. They say jump. One must politely retort, how high sir?

Posted by gee on March 16, 2015 14:31

Editor Comment:

Hmm . . . Thailand in the 21st century is a place that encourages visitors and investment from all over the world. But there are a few miscreants like you, gee, who would be categorised as old-fashioned and useless everywhere.

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I vote with my feet. Sorry no more Phuket. Thailand is a wonderful Country. There's are much better and safer places than Phuket.

Posted by Dominik on March 16, 2015 14:33

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Ed, once again, whatever happened with the so called "safety" zones, you know the ones many of us "doomsayers" scoffed at. It certainly looks like they've been another failure.

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 16, 2015 15:44

Editor Comment:

People who are committed to guesswork would say that. And they'd be wrong as usual.

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Ed, and by that do you mean you "guess" they are working, or you "guess" they were actually faithfully implemented.

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 16, 2015 18:15

Editor Comment:

What I mean, Laurie, is that we will ask and look, not guess. Your guesswork adds no value. The doomsayers have mostly given up.

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It is about time the 'safety zones' become reliable operational.
It is also time that all the foreign Consuls on Phuket ask (through proper channels) the Thai Government in BKK to order the Phuket Governor to have regular meeting with the Consuls. It is unbelievable that a Phuket Governor can ignore Consuls. Phuket is a international island. Even Chili now opened a consulate in Phuket town.

Posted by Kurt on March 16, 2015 19:12

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It's been said so many times before but I believe it's still true: two things:

the police are run as a "business" not as a "service" so there is no incentive to investigate thoroughly, just get rid of the matter asap

And the police are scare of the tuktuk drivers who outnumber them massively. This can be seen in the way they are allowed to park illegally all around Patong.

Until these factors change, then incidents like this will continue

Posted by Discover Thainess on March 16, 2015 19:40

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Matt,

the right to life is not absolute.
It is worth to refer to European CHR, that as is more detailed, is used to interpret the Universal Charter, especially given a volume of case-law generated by European court:

Article 2. Right to life

2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
(a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.

Posted by Sue on March 17, 2015 04:18

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i know mark, mark gave me a free speedboat trip a couple of years back, a great fella the best - it stuns me that posters on here recommend running away/not getting involved

Posted by ayjay on March 17, 2015 07:32

Editor Comment:

Self-interest is killing Phuket, whether it be the self-interest of tuk-tuk drivers or the self-interest of the don't care as long as it's not me farang.

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The safety zone was nothing more than a PR stunt at the time by authorities. An expensive one as they did install lots of cameras, but there is rarely any ability/ intention to deliver on their promises. For the simple reason authorities are rarely held accountable.

And that the Gov can ignore the Consuls is astounding. I think BKK should be instructing all provincial governors they HAVE to meet local Consuls where there are local Consuls in their province. The local Gov should not be able to make the decision on something this important.

Posted by Duncan on March 17, 2015 07:57

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If you look at posts I did over 2 years ago, the Camera system in Patong is a joke.

They paid 20mb for 5000 baht cameras. After less than a year, most of the cameras didn't work.

I have personally inspected the Cameras in Patong and their entire hardware.

20mb for 20 cameras, I'll let the mathematicians work it out.

Posted by Tbs on March 17, 2015 08:44

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Did this guy watch (read) Tin Tin? He's the spitting image of the Crusty Captain..

He probably doesn't suffer many "fools" gladly.. but he may start to going forward!

Signed,

The Big Paradigm Shift

Posted by farang888 on March 17, 2015 22:03


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