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British Ambassador Quinton Quayle briefs the Phuket media today

Phuket's Most Wanted Man 'Still in UK Custody'

Monday, September 27, 2010
BRITISH kickboxer Lee Aldhouse, wanted on Phuket over the alleged murder of former US Marine DaShawn Longfellow, is still in custody, British Ambassador Quinton Quayle said today.

Mr Quayle, visiting Phuket for a special Queen's Birthday celebration this evening, said that he understood that Aldhouse was still being held by authorities in Britain ''as of this morning.''

The Ambassador was hesitant to be drawn on how far an extradition bid from Thailand may have proceeded, saying that the issue was up to the judiciary.

Aldhouse was being held on remand and ''two things need to happen,'' he said. ''Obviously the respective police authorities are in touch and it requires a judicial decision as to whether or not to extradite. As it's a matter for the court then I can't comment on that.

''The arrest has happened, and there is good cooperation between the authorities. How the court decides, well, I can't speculate.''

Later he added: ''He [Aldhouse] has a right to defend, a right to put his case. And the evidence has to be considered.''

A police liaison officer at the British embassy in Bangkok was closely involved in the processing of the case, he said.

''We are trying to crackdown on pedophiles, drug smugglers, anyone who may be attempting to evade British justice,'' Ambassador Quayle said. ''That's his job to keep those links and to share information with the Thais.''

There were cases where British citizens had been extradited to Thailand, he said.

Mr Aldhouse allegedly knifed Mr Longfellow to death last month after the two fought earlier in the night at a popular Phuket bar.

Mr Aldouse is said to have escaped Phuket and Thailand by road to Cambodia, then flown to Britain from Singapore. He was held at Heathrow Airport over a previous offence in Britain.

The ambassador said the embassy was keen for British citizens to register online so they could be contacted if necessary in an emergency.

''If there are fast-moving events, we email that out to subscribers,'' he said.

''I'm very pleased that in the events of March, April, May, when 91 people were reported killed and 2000 injured, not a single Brit was amongst them, and I'd like to think that was because we gave the right sort of travel advice.''

He added that it was important to judge the travel advice correctly. ''Our prime responsibility is to our own citizens. I love Thailand, I love the Thai people, but I am representing British interests and the safety and security of British citizens has to be paramount.

''We only had blanket advice on Thailand for a matter of a few days, actually. As soon as the situation was clarified, then we lifted it. You've got to err on the side of safety.''

He said the quarterly meeting of honorary consuls and embassy representatives with the Phuket governor, introduced this year, was ''very useful.''

Mr Quayle, who speaks fluent Thai, said he had been the Thai ambassador for more than three years and was ''waiting to hear some news on that.''

Ambassador Quayle is to host a Queen's Birthday cocktail party this evening in Phuket City for more than 250 people. The event is one of a series of postponed celebrations sponsored by businesses at no cost to British taxpayers.
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Latest Fugitive Phuket murder suspect Lee Aldhouse was held on his return to Britain because of a charge of possessing a legal weapon for which he served a shortened sentence, a newspaper says.
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Stabbing Update Extradition of a suspect from Britain to Thailand to face a murder charge probably hinges on the weight of evidence and the potential for support from US authorities.
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Phuket Farewells Longfellow on Final Journey
Manhunt Update Heading for Bangkok and a connecting flight to the US is the body of murder victim DaShawn Longfellow, returning home six days after falling victim to a cowardly knife attack.
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PHOTO ALBUM Newly viewed footage from inside a Phuket 7 Eleven store shows a man who looks like hunted fugitive Lee Aldhouse demanding knives shortly before a fatal stabbing death.
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