A businessman has been jailed for eight years after murdering a Thai sex worker by stuffing her naked body in a suitcase and throwing it into a river. Shane Looker, 52, killed dancer Laxami Manochat in November 2014 while on vacation.
Following the murder, Looker remained in his holiday home for weeks before crossing the border into Malaysia and fleeing to Spain until he was arrested in 2017, as reported on StokeonTrentLive. He was finally extradited back to Thailand in July last year following a hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.
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It followed assurances that Looker would not risk the death penalty or be abused in Thailand. Now Looker – who grew up in Windermere Road, Clayton – has been convicted of the murder and also sentenced to pay Laxami’s mother and daughter a total of £ 291,300 in damages.
The accused had only been in Bangkok for two nights when he picked up 31-year-old Laxami in the Hot Lips go-go bar. Police launched a murder investigation when her body was found – 95 miles away – in the suitcase in the river. Her black stilettos, black dress and a pink strap were also in the luggage as well as a dead dog. The suitcase had been weighed down with stones.
But Looker had already fled the country before being identified as the main suspect, and an international manhunt was launched after he was identified in CCTV footage that went hand in hand with Laxami before her death. They had left the Rainbow 4 go-go bar in the Nana Plaza region of the Thai capital on November 1, 2014.
Looker had always denied the charge of murder. In a speech in 2015, he said, “Yes, I knew her. I’m happy to accept that I spent time with her.
“She’s a barmaid that I knew before, and I accept that I paid the bar fine. There’s no way in the world that I would ever hurt any woman let alone kill her. This is a heinous crime, which I deny it. “I look forward to proving my innocence in the fullness of time.”
Asked about the case, a spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We continue to support a British man imprisoned in Thailand”.
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