The body of 31-year-old Laxami Manochat or ‘Pook’ from Sisaket in Thailand was found by horrified police in a suitcase taken from the Mae Klong River in Kanchanaburi on November 9th 2014. At the time, her suspected killer was still lying low in Thailand at his home in Hua Hin before quietly leaving Thailand some weeks later. Three weeks after that, police with a search warrant raided the property where he had been living in the seaside town.
A UK national who used to live between Ibiza in Spain and Hua Hin in Thailand, up to the end of 2014, is now facing imminent extradition from Spain to the kingdom where he will face murder charges in relation to the gruesome killing of a Thai prostitute and go-go bar dancer in the opening hours of November 2nd 2014.
The European Court of Human Rights sitting in Strasbourg has upheld a decision of the Spanish High Court to extradite a 51-year-old British man from Stoke.
Shane Kenneth Looker is wanted in Thailand in relation to the murder of a go-go bar worker on November 2nd 2014 after picking her up at the Nana Plaza adult entertainment complex in Bangkok just before midnight on the night of November 1st 2014.
The dismembered body of Laxami Manochat also known as ‘Pook’ was found by horrified police a week later on November 9th after a suitcase was pulled out of the Mae Klong River in the western province of Kanchanaburi.
CCTV image of a well-built foreigner in shorts seen walking out of the Nana Plaza adult entertainment centre was followed by an accurate tip-off
A police murder enquiry led by Police Lieutenant General Werapong Chuenpagdee in Bangkok and Police Major General Kamolsanti Klanbut in Kanchanaburi quickly identified that the last man who had been with the 31-year-old prostitute from Sisaket in northern Thailand was a well built western foreigner in a t-shirt and short pants seen from a captured CCTV still.
Tip-offs and intelligence received by police, a month later, in December, identified the man as UK national Shane Kenneth Looker who lived at a residence in Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province and also on the island of Ibiza in Spain.
Looker is the owner of a hotel on the Spanish holiday island in the Mediterranean.
Exited Thailand by train over 3 weeks later crossing into Malaysia before travelling back to Spain
It is understood that Mr Looker left Thailand by train on November 24th 2014 crossing into Malaysia before arriving back in Spain three days later.
The UK killer had only arrived in Thailand from Spain on October 31st 2014 and was staying at a hotel on Soi 5 off Sukhumvit before he visited the bustling nightlife centre on November 1st where he picked up Ms Laxami or ‘Pook’ at the Rainbow 4 go-go bar.
Clear CCTV footage showed the pair leaving the complex at 11.33pm that night.
Murdered the woman shortly after meeting her
Police believe he murdered the woman afterwards at a rented apartment before leaving Bangkok the next morning at 9.30 am for the Tippawan area of Hua Hin by minivan for which he paid a fare of ฿1,500 after asking the driver to drop him off at the Big C Centre in the popular upmarket seaside resort.
It is still unclear how the body of the woman came to be found in a suitcase one week later in Kanchanaburi.
In February 2015, before his arrest in the town of San Jose in Ibiza in June 2017, through a legal representative Jason Coghlan, the UK man denied any involvement in the death of the woman.
‘He has told me categorically he had absolutely nothing to do with this woman’s murder,’ Mr Coghlan revealed.
DNA samples taken at the suspect’s Hua Hin home matched those taken from his alleged victim
It is understood that the suspected killer spent weeks at his home lying low before leaving the country.
Police in mid-December 2014 executed a search warrant on the premises and were able to find the shorts and t-shirt that the British man was wearing on the night of the murder.
They also are reported to have matched DNA samples taken from toothbrushes and other personal items at the scene which matched DNA received from under the fingernails of the murder victim, Ms Pook.
International arrest warrant issued in 2015
An arrest warrant was issued for Mr Looker in June 2015 after police in Bangkok earlier in the year gave a press conference and identified the man as their main suspect in the case.
The Guardia Civil arrested Looker, originally from Stoke in the United Kingdom, in June 2017 with sources suggesting the Spanish police were aware that the wanted UK suspect was living on the island for some time.
Thai police sent a comprehensive report on the murder and their case against the main suspect as well as assurances that Looker would not be mistreated
The top European court in its ruling on the matter, handed down on Tuesday the 25th May, cited a comprehensive report sent to Spanish authorities in Madrid from the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok offering proof that Looker was the man who had murdered the Thai woman shortly after picking her up before midnight on the morning of November 2nd 2014.
Thai authorities also subsequently communicated to their counterparts in Spain specific assurances required under European Union law that the UK man would not face the death penalty in Thailand nor would he be mistreated if sent back to Thailand to face justice.
UK man’s lawyers chose a complicated legal strategy designed to drag out the proceedings and which was called out last Tuesday by the top European court
Looker’s lawyer subsequently appealed the 2018 ruling of the Spanish High Court to the Constitutional Court which refused to accept it.
In handing down its ruling on Tuesday, the European court suggested that this was a deliberate ploy not to have the matter resolved more expeditiously in Spain by appealing the case to the Supreme Court.
The court held that the case of the applicant, Mr Shane Kenneth Looker, could not succeed on the basis of ‘failure to exhaust domestic remedies’.
‘The applicant knew that he could have lodged an appeal for amparo against the judicial decision of the Spanish High Court during the extradition process,’ it declared.