SAN ANTONIO – British murder fugitive Michael John Taylor, better known in Phuket as “Mick The Pom”, accused of murdering his girlfriend on a Thai island has been arrested after seven years on the run.
Offshore worker Michael “Mick” Taylor, 50, was arrested in 2005 after he was accused of plunging a knife into his girlfriend Jantra Weangta’s heart.
Miss Weangta’s body was discovered in the rented bungalow the couple shared in idyllic Chalong Beach, Phuket.
Mr Taylor denied the charge, claiming he had been having sex on a beach with a ladyboy at the time Miss Weangta, 27, was killed.
He went on the run midway through his trial in 2006 and was spotted in the Philippines in November.
There have been rumours in the last few days that Mr Taylor had been arrested by local police in the San Antonio area of the Philippines.
Now, the Mail understands he is in an immigration jail awaiting extradition to Thailand.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the arrest of a British national in the Philippines on March 6 and we are providing consular assistance.”
At the time of the murder in 2005, Thai police recovered a large Bowie knife and a pair of bloodstained trousers, while prosecutors had lined up 13 witnesses, including a DNA expert, to testify against Mr Taylor.
Despite the seriousness of the accusation, Mr Taylor had been granted bail after a land title deed, valued at 400,000 baht (£8,000), was posted as a surety.
He fled in 2006, midway through the trial, which had been heavily delayed.
Since then, sightings were made of Mr Taylor in Hull and, more recently, in the Philippines, where he is thought to have been working in the offshore oil industry.
Information regarding Mr Taylor’s whereabouts in November was brought to the attention of Thai authorities after the owners of a bar in Pundakit, about 100 miles west of Manila, claimed they heard him bragging about the killing.
At the time, Superintendent Col Kritapas told the Phuket Gazette: “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.
“Also, the suspect escaped while on court bail, not police bail. This is clearly a matter for the prosecutor.”
The case has provoked uproar in Thailand, with questions being asked of both the British and Thai authorities for seemingly allowing Mr Taylor to slip through their nets.
Mr Taylor’s lawyer, Somsak “Sam” Chattay, confirmed his client’s passport had been confiscated shortly before he fled.
It is not clear how long it will take to extradite Mr Taylor back to Thailand.