Mr Pendlebury is believed to have attended a meeting of Patong Rotary last night before being involved in the altercation at Taipan nightclub that led to a scuffle and the death of a security guard from knife wounds about 2am.
Initially from Western Australia, Mr Pendlebury, who has lived on Phuket for about 10 years, was being questioned by officers at Kathu Police Station today.
According to details of the case relayed to a Phuketwan reporter at the police station, Mr Pendlebury was walking past the Taipan discotheque about 12.30am when he saw a scuffle involving a security guard evicting customers. Mr Pendlebury attempted to photograph the incident and the altercation led to the fatal stabbing of the security guard.
The guard's death came about 2am after both men had been taken to Patong Hospital to have their wounds treated.
Mr Pendlebury runs a boating business on Phuket and is held in high regard. Just yesterday, he invited Phuketwan to accompany a legless Danish surfer, Frederik Aakerlund, 48, on a boat trip on Thursday.
The boat trip was being provided for free by Mr Pendelbury to speed the recovery of Mr Aakerlund from a brutal kicking he suffered two months ago in Patong at the hands of a ''Clockwork Orange'' style gang.
Today's fatal stabbing, though, is rare for the holiday island, where a series of safety zones have been coordinated by police since the fatal stabbing of Australian tourist Michelle Smith in an attempted bag-snatch in 2012. Mrs Smith's two attackers are serving life sentences.
Coordination between Phuket authorities and the island's honorary consuls is at an all-time low, though, because of the lack of regular meetings. The present governor and his predecessor appear to not be keen to talk to the island's international representatives.
Expats also are a key part of tourism protection on Phuket, with volunteers patrolling the streets around Soi Bangla every night until last Thursday, when the volunteers stopped patrols because of a sense that their support from local police is lacking. The volunteers were due to meet with Patong's senior police at 10am today.