Australian man dies in police detention in Phuket, Thailand

An Australian man died inside the detention room at Patong Police Station in Phuket, southern Thailand, yesterday. Police say that he hanged himself with the rope from his shorts, reports KhaoPhuket.

Police said that 31 year old Matthew Michael Winder of Australian nationality was found dead inside the detention room at 12.45pm, having been arrested for being loud and disorderly on Sunday night.

At 5.45am, police were informed that a foreign man intoxicated by alcohol or drugs was yelling and disturbing guests at a hotel near Patong Beach, on Thaweewong Road in Kathu district, reports KhaoPhuket.

Superintendent of Patong Police Station, Pol. Col. Sujin Nilbadi, and deputy superintendent Pol. Lt. Col. Somphon Surin, went to investigate.

Police said they brought the Australian to Patong Police Station in Phuket and escorted him to the detention room – a solitary confinement room for suspects – to calm down.

The officers on duty went out for lunch at 11.30am and left Winder alone. When they returned, they found that Winder had committed suicide, they said. Police said they examined the CCTV cameras and saw Winder, alone in the room, crying out for help before hanging himself with the rope from his shorts, reports KhaoPhuket.

Reports on the details of Winder’s death are conflicting. Matichon reports that Winder was arrested for being disorderly outside of an entertainment venue on Bangla Road. Matichon also reports that the tourist committed suicide by hanging himself from the bars of a solitary prison cell on the second floor of the station using his shirt while the officers were on their lunch break.

Winder’s body was taken to the Forensic Medicine department at Vachira Phuket Hospital to undergo an autopsy.

Police contacted the Australian Embassy to inform Winder’s family of his death and coordinate the collection of his body.

It is not clear whether any investigation into Winder’s death will be undertaken independent of officers from Patong Police Station since measures to prevent suspects from committing suicide inside police detention failed him yesterday.

Phuket NewsThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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