PHUKET CITY: After days of searching, the body of slain British sailor Malcolm Robertson was recovered by fishermen about 10 nautical miles north of Satun’s Lipeh Island at about 3pm today.
A source in the Marine Police said the fishermen are now bringing Mr Robertson’s remains by boat to Tu Tae Lam Pier in Satun’s La-Ngu District, where it is expected to arrive at about 7pm tonight.
Officials monitoring the case say a report on Friday that the missing man’s body had been found was incorrect – only debris from the yacht had been seen.
Three Burmese men, aged 17, 18 and 19, have said they climbed on to the Robertsons’ yacht because they were starving after fleeing to a nearby island from rough conditions on a Thai fishing vessel.
For the original report, click here.
The discovery of the body diminishes the chance that the youths will be able to avoid murder charges and possible death sentences.
They claim they went two days without food and were challenged by Robertson while desperately searching his yacht for food.
The eldest of the three reportedly confessed to both Thai police and a British photographer that he killed Robertson with a hammer after a struggle, then lowered the Englishman’s body into the sea.
The man’s wife, Linda Robertson, confirmed the identity of the attackers and gave testimony in local courts on Friday.
Mrs Robertson was tied up during the ordeal, but managed to haul in the anchor and motor away to safety after the Burmese men left in a dinghy on Tuesday morning, about 10 hours after sneaking on board.
In an interview by phone, she expressed relief yesterday that the trio had been caught so swiftly by the police, whose efforts she lauded.
She said she certainly felt the youngest of the Burmese was anguished about her husband’s death, but she was not sure if the older pair were as remorseful as they said. But she felt it was “irrelevant” if they faced a murder charge or manslaughter, as “it wouldn’t bring Malcolm back”.
She and her husband left the UK 10 years ago to sail around the world, but “loved Thailand so much” they remained here for three years. On Saturday, she and the couple’s four children, all in their 30s, held a service on the yacht Mr Bean to remember Malcolm.
“The family are with me, and that is a huge difference,” she said, adding that the service brought out laughter, as well as tears. “I wasn’t quite as horrified to be on the boat as I thought I’d be,” she said.
— Jim Pollard & Gazette Reporters
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