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DOG DAYS: Phuket murder fugitive ‘Mick the Pom’ living openly in sunny Philippines

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: British murder fugitive Michael John Taylor, better known in Phuket as “Mick The Pom”, has been found alive and well in the Philippines, and now uses the online monikers “Mick Doggard”, or just “Mickdog” for short.

Taylor, who celebrated his 50th birthday on September 20 this year, remains wanted for the murder of his girlfriend Jantra Weangta, 27, who was found stabbed to death in Taylor’s rented bungalow near Chalong Pier on August 17, 2004 (story here).

Ms Jantra died from a single stab wound to the heart (story here).

Nearby, police found a large Bowie knife and a pair of bloodstained trousers, and quickly arrested Taylor for the murder.

Taylor denied the accusation and told police that around the time Ms Jantra was estimated to have been killed, he was drinking at the Moonlight Bar in Karon and then having sex on the beach with a katoey (ladyboy), 21-year-old Fonnoi Khonsau.

He said that he found Ms Jantra dead on the bed when he and Mr Fonnoi went to the house.

By the time Taylor’s much-delayed trial started over a year later, the prosecution had lined up 13 witnesses to testify against him, including Pornthip Rojanasunand, Thailand’s leading forensic investigator, who was to present DNA evidence.

Despite the fact that he faced a murder charge, Taylor had been released on bail after a Chanote land title deed valued at 400,000 baht was posted as surety.

In 2006, mid-trial, he disappeared (story here).

Taylor was later seen by a Phuket Gazette reader on the streets of his hometown of Hull, in northern England.

The British Embassy in Bangkok has refused to confirm or deny whether or not he re-entered the UK after he absconded from Thailand, and neither that embassy nor the British embassy in Manila nor the Home Office in the UK have explained to the Gazette how Taylor continues to travel abroad.

Taylor’s lawyer, Somsak “Sam” Chattay, confirmed to the Gazette in 2006 that Taylor’s passport was held at the Chalong Police Station during the trial.

The Gazette has a copy of Taylor’s previous passport, showing it was due to expire on June 12 this year. For Taylor to be legally travelling today as a British national, he must have been issued a new passport by the UK authorities while he was still wanted for murder in Thailand.

The news of Taylor’s latest whereabouts was brought to the Gazette‘s attention after patrons at the Dogs Offshore Bar in the beach resort town of Pundakit, about 160km west of Manila and just over an hour’s drive from Subic Bay, said they heard him bragging about the killing to patrons in the bar.

Asked who to contact with such information, the British Embassy in Bangkok refused to provide any assistance in bringing one of its own nationals to justice.

“The alleged offense was committed in Thailand, and therefore the whereabouts of the alleged offender is likely to be of interest to the Thai authorities. We would suggest that any information on the case be shared with the Thai authorities,” an email from the embassy said.

“This is a bilateral matter between Thailand and the Philippines authorities and the Royal Thai Police are the correct body to take this issue forward,” said an earlier email.

No embassy representative was willing to officially claim responsibility for either email.

The Gazette on August 31 informed Phuket Provincial Police Chief Choti Chavalwivat, who retired on September 30, as well as Phuket Provincial Chief Public Prosecutor Chiengsean Panhya and Chalong Police Superintendent Kritapas Daztharasorn.

However, the Gazette hitting the streets this weekend marks six weeks of no known action by any Phuket law enforcement authority to bring Taylor to justice – despite having been given a photo, the arrest warrant for murder and for jumping bail, a phone number, Facebook page, website address and even a map of where to find him.

After being informed and shown documentary evidence of Taylor’s whereabouts on August 31, Maj Gen Choti told the Gazette it was a matter for the Public Prosecutor, not the police.

However, he assured he would report the information to Chief Prosecutor Chiengsean as soon as possible.

Three days later, while chasing an update, the Gazette broke the news of Taylor’s whereabouts to Mr Chiengsean, who repeatedly confirmed that he had yet to receive any notification from Gen Choti.

Even then, Mr Chiengsean was adamant that arresting a murder fugitive – even one that absconded on bail during trial – was a matter for the police.

Noting the failure of communication and a lack of common understanding between police and the chief prosecutor in matters involving the arrest of murder fugitives, the Gazette brought the case to the attention of Col Kritapas, who as Superintendent of the Chalong Police heads the police unit that brought the case to trial.

He denied any further responsibility for bringing to justice a murder suspect arrested in his jurisdiction.

“It is beyond police authority to arrest anyone outside of the country. Police have done their job. The suspect was arrested and handed over to the prosecutor,” Col Krittapas said.

“Also, the suspect escaped while on court bail, not police bail… This is clearly a matter for the prosecutor,” he added.

None of the daily calls – by phone or in person – by the Gazette to any of the three top law-enforcement authorities related to the case have since yielded any confirmation that the Thai Police in Phuket are willing to take any action to arrest Taylor.

At last report, the Gazette learned that Taylor was heading offshore again to work – most likely in the oil and gas industry.

His online posts appear on “rovworld.com”, a site for offshore workers.

— Gazette Reporters

 

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