Chiangrai Times – Murdered New Zealander, Robert Hollick was an animal lover who never went anywhere without his beloved dog. Mr Hollick, 43, was allegedly stabbed with a knife three times in his neck and back in a bar fight in Thailand early on Tuesday.
Police have arrested a 40-year-old Swedish man, Andreas Ringvall, and charged him with murder, while also detaining his girlfriend, Dao Pholutsa.
Pholutsa told police Mr Hollick started the fight, which occurred in the coastal town of Pattaya, but witnesses said Ringvall caused the trouble after Pholutsa began playing with Mr Hollick’s dog.
After an altercation, Pholutsa was sent back to her room and Ringvall returned with a knife, stabbing Mr Hollick, they said.
Best friend Michael Thurlow, who met Mr Hollick at high school in 1985, said he had spoken to his mate three weeks ago and he was “loving life”.
Before moving to Thailand six months ago, Mr Hollick had split his time between Bali and Perth and was basically retired, he said.
“He said to me, ‘if I leave, I’ll have four pairs of shorts and three shirts and that’s it’ . . . he certainly lived his life like he wanted to.”
He described his friend as an animal lover and a straight shooter, who seldom thought before speaking his mind.
“That dog of his went everywhere with him. When he was in Perth, if he went into his office, that dog would be there.”
He was unsure whether the dog in Thailand was the same one.
Mr Thurlow had a company called Top Dog Personnel in Perth, which provided earth moving labour to the mining industry.
A manager at Top Dog said she was struggling after the news of his death, but had been told by the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry not to talk to media.
Mr Hollick’s mother, Anne, was too distraught to talk yesterday. Her partner, Kieran Leonard, said they first learned about the death from television news on Tuesday night.
Mr Hollick had not been back to New Zealand for about five years but kept in touch with his family, Mr Leonard said.
“He was a happy go-lucky guy, really cheerful.
“He loved life; he’d had more experiences in 43 years than others do their whole lives.”
Pattaya police could not be contacted yesterday. –SHANE COWLISHAW