60-year-old Peter Murray has lived in Phuket for 4 years and was the subject of an alarm raised by his family last Friday when he was a no show in Bulgaria on August 2nd for a family reunion and they could not contact him by phone. On Monday, he was tracked down to a Thai prison where he being held pending trial.
A UK man due to fly out of Thailand to be reunited with his family in Bulgaria two weeks ago, instead on Monday, has been found behind bars in Phuket’s provincial prison. Only a desperate appeal to the local newspaper on the island last Friday, after his family became concerned for his safety, finally resulted in Peter Murray being found.
A 60-year-old UK man who was due in Bulgaria on August 2nd to be reunited with his family from home has found himself, unfortunately, as a guest and inmate at Phuket’s Provincial Prison.
On Monday, the popular local newspaper in Phuket, The Phuket News, finally tracked down Peter Murray after the alarm was raised out of fears for his well being over the weekend when his sister Sonia made contact with reporters late last week trying to find out where her brother might be.
Due to fly from Bangkok to Vienna within hours
Peter had been booked on a flight to leave Bangkok the week before in order to be with his family in Bulgaria on August 2nd. He was booked on a flight first from Bangkok to Vienna and later on to meet his relations in Bulgaria. His sister Sonia last spoke to him on Monday, the 27th of July.
‘I spoke to him last on the 27th July and the flights had not been cancelled yet he did not give me the flight times so I could pick him up this side in Bulgaria,’ she explained on Friday to the local newspaper.
Family holidaying in Bulgaria contacted local newspaper seeking help to find Peter on Friday
On Friday last, August 7th, by email, his niece Shannon contacted the local newspaper as the family grew more apprehensive after not hearing from him.
Sonia then gave the local media some information about her brother and his lifestyle in Phuket so that someone who knew of his whereabouts could come forward.
This was after they were unable to make contact with him through his mobile phone.
‘He has not answered his phone in a week and I believe if he lost his phone he would have replaced it within a couple of days. I know he spent time at the back of The Metropole Hotel in Phuket at a shop called Mel’s where he would meet with John Paul (a Frenchman), Phil (English) and Michel (German) and drink with them,’ she disclosed.
Good news and bad news on Monday
On Monday, they received good news and bad news.
The good news was that Peter was alive and in relatively good health. The bad news was that he was banged up in the local prison in Phuket.
On Tuesday, July 28th, he had been involved in a motorbike accident when he hit another motorcyclist with his own. Police at the scene tested him for alcohol and found he was well above the legal limit.
Senior police officer in Phuket confirmed that Mr Murray was arrested on July 28th for drunk driving
The news came from Lieutenant Wirote Pornpraprut of Phuket City Police who arrested him.
On Monday, he told The Phuket News newspaper that Peter had been detained at the local police station on July 28th and 29th before being brought to court on charges of reckless and drunk driving.
After the court hearing, he was taken to prison to await a trial.
His arrest was notified by police in Phuket to the British Embassy in Bangkok on the same day.
‘Peter’s case was reported to the British embassy on the same day of the accident, July 28th,’ the police officer confirmed.
Police checking his background with Bangkok
Lieutenant Wirote told the local reporter that the case was not heard by the court as police were, first of all, making enquiries in Bangkok as to the arrested man’s background or potential links to criminality. Lieutenant Wirote said that the detained man was in good health.
However, when the local reporter visited Peter for a short three-minute visit at Phuket’s Provincial Prison this Monday, they found him in low spirits.
The British man, sporting a prison haircut, complained that his body was still sore from the accident with the other motorbike.
Mr Murray is receiving assistance from the British Embassy and is hoping to be bailed out of prison by the end of the week.