PHUKET – Murder Charges against a 59-year old Western Australian Mark Pendlebury in Phuket have been dropped after security footage backed his claim he was acting in self defense when a security guard was killed in a fight outside a nightclub.
Mark Pendlebury, a long time resident of Phuket, known on the resort island for his sailing tours and signature captain’s pipe and hat, was charged with the murder of a 26-year-old security guard stabbed in a scuffle outside the nightclub in the early hours of March 11.
The guard, Sanya Kluewaengman, and Pendlebury, were admitted to hospital but Sanya later died from his injuries.
Pendlebury had reportedly been returning home when he witnessed a melee outside the Tai Pan nightclub.
However when Pendlebury began filming the altercation on his mobile phone, Sanya confronted him, telling him to stop and a fight ensured, with several other men attacking the Australian.
Thai Police say CCTV footage supports the Australian’s claims he pulled a short knife because he feared his life was in danger, two other passers-by also came to his aid.
Phuket News news reported the footage was conclusive and that the mother and wife of the security guard agreed that no blame could be attached to Mr Pendlebury, after viewing the video.
On Wednesday, Thai police in Phuket confirmed they were dropping charges after a review of the security camera footage of the incident.
Sanya’s family agreed not to pursue the case after Pendlebury agreed to pay the next of kin 1.2 million baht in compensation and pay 100,000 baht to cover Sanya Kluewaengman’s cremations expenses.
Police fined Pendlebury 500 baht for carrying a knife in a public place.