Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Aussie jumps bail for assaulting female cabin crew, steals Phuket yacht to sail home

PHUKET: An Australian already on the run for assaulting two air stewardess on a flight from Sydney to Bangkok last year has been arrested and released in Darwin after fleeing Thailand on a yacht chartered out of Phuket.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 29 August 2018, 05:14PM

The poster posted online when concerns ran high for the ‘missing’ brother’s safety. Image: Supplied

The poster posted online when concerns ran high for the ‘missing’ brother’s safety. Image: Supplied

Owen Van Duren, 37, and his ex-special forces brother Shane, 43, arrived in Darwin last Sunday (Aug 26) after sailing for six weeks, reports the Daily Mail. (See story here.)

The pair had departed Phuket on July 7.

Van Duren had been in a Thai jail for six months, and fled on the yacht, a Nautitech Open 40 sailing catamaran built in 2015 named Pina Colada, while on bail.

The boat had been chartered from Elite Yachting at Phuket Boat Lagoon and was to be returned on July 21.

“We are obviously very concerned for the well-being of the crew,” Jurg Hofer, Managing Director of Elite Yachting Co Ltd, told The Phuket News at the time as the heavy weather was the tail end of the storm squalls that sank the Phoenix on July 5.

“The guests went out sailing on the 7th of July with an expected return date of the 21st of July and did not return.

“All the authorities have been informed in Thailand and other countries – but we have not any further information,” he added, noting that “a lot information had already been posted through social media,” Mr Hofer said.

According to the Daily Mail, local Darwin news portal NT News reported that Owen Van Duren was taken into custody by Northern Territory Police when he arrived in Darwin on Sunday, but was soon released.

“Australian authorities had also accused Van Duren of the mid-flight assault, but prosecutors withdrew the charges on Friday and sealed his freedom,” said the report.

“Thai prosecutors are believed to have prevented Australian authorities from proceeding with the charges, News Corp understands,” the report added.

It is not clear if Thai authorities will apply to have Van Duren extradited to face the assault charges, noted the Daily Mail.

A Border Force spokesman said the catamaran had been tracked for weeks before it arrived in Darwin, adding, “The vessel in question may have been stolen.”



Owen’s brother Shane, a former Australian soldier, is currently serving a suspended sentence following a violent confrontation with police and the RSCPA in 2015, the Daily Mail added.

Van Duren, 41 at the time, broke into the RSPCA centre in the Canberra suburb of Weston to claim his black Belgian shepherd, ‘Kalu’.

The dog, which he uses as an assistance animal for post-traumatic stress disorder, had been removed from his care due to neglect concerns.

In the ensuing trial, the prosecutor said Van Duren was on the RSPCA’s radar after his last dog was put down due to neglect, reported the ABC. (See story here.)

Van Duren allegedly cut through three fences to get to the dog.

Police and an RSPCA inspector went to Van Duren’s home, where they found the dog, but Van Duren allegedly refused to hand over the animal and ran out of the back door with it.

“You're not getting the dog,” he told them, according to court documents.

When police tried to arrest him, Van Duren allegedly punched Constable Daniel Neit twice in the jaw, after which the pair wrestled on the ground.

“RSPCA senior inspector Catherine Croatto then stepped in, but Van Duren allegedly put his arm around her neck and put her in a choke hold, saying he would kill her,” the ABC reported.

“I’m going to f****** kill you,” he said.

“You’re dead b****… dead inside a year.”

Shane Van Duren spent 46 days in custody, and later plead guilty to assault and strangulation charges, report the Daily Mail.

The dog was later returned to Van Duren, who received a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence.

“He's where he should be, he’s where he belongs. He’s good. The family are happy,' he told the ABC outside court.

Van Duren served in East Timor where he was confronted with traumatic experiences – including the death of personnel in 1999 and 2000, Chief Justice Helen Murrell told the ABC last year.

Magistrate Beth Campbell in hearing the initial trial, described Van Duren’s actions as an “explosive loss of self control”.

“Something is wrong for this man to act with so much aggression,” she said.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

BenPendejo | 29 August 2018 - 20:38:41

Was the editor asleep, or on vacation?  Terribly written article...hard to tell what the heck happened when.

Pauly44 | 29 August 2018 - 18:48:31

None of this story makes any sense! 

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket man hunted for stabbing ex to death in jealous rage

...what a weird response ! What do bar closing times have to do with the behavior of a certain group...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

It is disgusting that one poster uses this article about a suicide committing desperate person for h...(Read More)

Phuket man nabbed with over 52,000 ya bah pills, ya ice

Khun Pascale, ..Uninformed... as you wrote, well, I can't talk about a european country I have n...(Read More)

Phuket man hunted for stabbing ex to death in jealous rage

"maybe those stories are not published in worldwide"Farming News," oh dear, by the wa...(Read More)

Phuket man hunted for stabbing ex to death in jealous rage

@ Pascale. Thai bars on Phuket by law close by 01:00 AM. What are you talking about? Behavior of to...(Read More)

Phuket man hunted for stabbing ex to death in jealous rage

R,maybe those stories are not published in worldwide"Farming News". Of course i could give...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

RIP Khun Piew. Condolences to family. Seems that Phuket golden tourist years are over. In everything...(Read More)

Phuket man nabbed with over 52,000 ya bah pills, ya ice

K, if you think all would be so easy ,please tell me, how come that a small country like the Netherl...(Read More)

Phuket man hunted for stabbing ex to death in jealous rage

Pascale, the operative word, in my comment, is "seems", which seems to be hard for you to ...(Read More)

Tourists warned of e-cigarette fines

@ Dek, S'pore is further, is 4.0. There is no polluted water , no traffic pollution on the roads...(Read More)