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Brit in Phuket Town condo saga continues amid fears of nine-story jump

PHUKET: The saga of a British man who has barricaded himself in a condo in Phuket Town amid a tenancy dispute continued yesterday (Feb 2) as the fire brigade was called in amid fears he might jump from the ninth-floor unit, prompting emergency services to respond and a visit by the Phuket Governor.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 3 February 2019, 12:53PM

The Australian-born Brit, David Maclean, 50, from Brisbane, has not left the condo since Jan 14 amid a dispute with the landlady over paying the rent.

The landlady, Utumporn Tantivit, has filed a formal complaint with police alleging that Mr Maclean has refused to pay B8,000 in outstanding rent after moving into the condo in October on a six-month lease agreement.

Mr Maclean, in an email sent to The Phuket News giving a detailed account of his version of events, says that he refused to hand over the money after he was refused receipts confirming the payment had been received.

In the ensuing spat, attempts to enter the condo have have failed, as have attempts by Tourist Police to convince Mr Maclean to open the door. Police became involved only after receiving the formal complaint on Friday (Feb 1).

Matters took a turn for the worse yesterday after police feared Mr Maclean would jump from the balcony at the back of the ninth-story unit, prompting police to call in the Phuket City fire department, which deployed an inflatable landing cushion down below.

“He didn’t open the door and talks with a representative from the British embassy failed, so we left him in the room,” Capt Eakkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police.

Both police and the representative from the British embassy have repeatedly stressed that their primary concern is for Mr Maclean's welfare and that the situation is resolved safely.

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 “Officials and police then left the scene. Nobody wants to break open the door. We are afraid that he might jump,” said Capt Eakkachai.

“At this stage we no plans to take further action, but we are following the situation closely day by day,” he added.

However, Capt Eakkachai gave no explanation of why police believed that Mr Maclean might jump from the condo.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 3:10pm, after two hours of talks had failed.

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana arrived at the scene along with high-ranking Phuket City Police officers to assess the situation.

At a meeting of the officials involved at the condo tower it was later agreed to wait for Mr Maclean’s permit to stay to expire on Feb 21, after which officers will the legal authority to enter the condo by force.



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christysweet | 05 February 2019 - 09:20:20

If the police admit they have no reason to believe the man will jump, why is it the headline?  Clickbait.

Jor12 | 04 February 2019 - 21:03:20

There was no valid reason for Police to forcibly enter the property, no matter who it may be. If he has paid rent, he has a legal right to occupy the property, to the exclusion of all others...including Police and landlord. If he doesn\'t pay and refuses to leave after being told leave he then becomes a trespasser, after which time, legal rights to enter forcibly then becomes effective.  

Pascale | 04 February 2019 - 17:00:50

All those nonsense about issuing receipts and blaming the landlady.That man has clearly a mental problem if he even refuses to talk or listen to representatives from the embassy.And all about 8000 baht.Ridiculous.

Kurt | 04 February 2019 - 16:29:13

Mhh, RTP much of the time try to handle affairs in a such a way that they are not serving the people but serving themselves.  That is were the expression 'brown envelops' come from. And what supports that hysterical RTP 'thinking' that this tourist would jump? Just order the land lady to give receipts for rents he wants to pay..It will take cold out the air. Than see next.

CaptainJack69 | 04 February 2019 - 13:55:31

The police don't have the right to enter the property by force? But will after his permit to stay expires? Nonsense! So what, if it's a Thai illegally occupying your property? You'll never have the right to expel them? Why can't Thai people (including and especially the police) not just respect and obey the law, instead of literally making it up as they go along.

Fascinated | 04 February 2019 - 10:48:09

Has no official thought to engage with the Landlord to resolve this. if she's not issuing receipts she is clearly sailing close to the wind.

robertcoble | 03 February 2019 - 19:01:05

Tear gas would get him to open up

SueYu2 | 03 February 2019 - 15:46:26

The landlady could always give him receipts for rent paid & even apologise but she won't.

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