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Girlfriend helped Aldhouse escape from Phuket, Thailand

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Girlfriend helped Aldhouse escape from Phuket, Thailand | Thaiger

PHUKET: The girlfriend of fugitive murder suspect Lee Aldhouse played a key role in helping the Englishman escape Thailand, Phuket Police said earlier today.

Chalong Police Inspector Jaran Bangprasert said the girl, a native of the northeastern province of Udon Thani, disappeared with Aldhouse from their shared room on Soi Khok Makham in Rawai soon after the murder of 23-year-old American Dashawn Longfellow was reported on August 14.

For our previous report click here.

A search of the premises by police after a warrant was issued found the house empty and the door still open, he said.

All police units were immediately put on high alert, initially leading police to believe that the Englishman was still hiding out somewhere on the island.

It has since been revealed that Aldhouse and his girlfriend hired a taxi to take them from Phuket to Koh Samui. Along the way they got a bus to Bangkok, then made their way to the Klong Yai checkpoint at the Cambodian border.

Mr Aldhouse was able to depart the country into Cambodia at the remote checkpoint, which has no on-line connection with Thailand’s Immigration database.

Immigration Police only realized Aldhouse had slipped out of the country six hours after the fact.

The unnamed girlfriend, who returned to Bangkok by bus, was later picked up for questioning by police. She confessed to her role in aiding Aldhouse’s escape and told investigators of his plan to return to England.

However, British sources familiar with the case told the Gazette that Aldhouse had fled the UK years before, after serving two years in a Birmingham jail for his part in an armed robbery. He served two years of a five-year sentence for illegal gun possession, the source said.

Mr Aldhouse worked in Spain as a doorman for several bars before leaving for Thailand in 2006, the source said.

Police will now seek the extradition of Aldhouse.

One sticking point could be the fact that Mr Aldhouse is wanted on charges of premeditated murder. As such, he could conceivably face the death penalty if convicted in Thailand.

In practice, Thai courts almost always commute a death penalty sentence to life imprisonment for murder suspects who confess.

However, other fugitives from Thai justice who come from countries that oppose the death penalty have used this fact to successfully fight off extradition.

One case is that of Belgian Sam Van Treek, arrested in 2004 at the age of 24 and charged with the murder of Phuket-based female dive instructor Chompoonut Jeab Kobram, who was stabbed 48 times in Van Treek’s Pattaya apartment.

Six years later, continuing attempts by the Thai government to have the Belgian extradited have proven fruitless and he continues to live as a free man in his native country.

 

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