Singapore woman’s husband killed in Phuket over noise dispute
Briton strangled in fight with Norwegian martial arts expert after he complained about noise in hotel room
PHUKET: A Singapore-based IT consultant who was killed in the Thai island of Phuket had complained to his alleged assailant about making too much noise in the early hours of Wednesday last week.
Mr Amitpal Singh Bajaj, 34, who was on holiday in Phuket with his Singaporean wife and 20-month-old son, was found lying face down in their hotel room at Centara Grand Beach Resort on Karon beach.
Mr Bajaj, a British citizen, later died of asphyxiation in hospital, Thai police said.
His wife, Mrs Bandhna Kaur Bajaj, 34, said in a media statement that he had told her to "save their son" as a man "barged in through the balcony door".
"My husband tried to block the man and move me and my son away," she said.
"As the man was kicking, punching and just beating him up, my husband told me to please leave and save our son."
A Norwegian tourist, Roger Bullman, 53, has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly strangling Mr Bajaj, Thai police said yesterday, AFP reported.
Karon Police Major Techin Deethongon said Bullman stormed through the shared balcony into the Bajajs' room after Mr Bajaj complained about the noise, and a scuffle erupted.
"They fought, and because of his military background, the Norwegian strangled the victim," Maj Techin told AFP, adding that Bullman was charged with invasion of property.
"He confessed and said he did not think his act would cause the victim to die."
Bullman, who faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted of manslaughter, was granted bail of 400,000 baht (S$18,400), Maj Techin added.
Major Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police said Bullman, a martial arts expert, was allegedly under the influence of alcohol in his room with his wife before the incident, The Bangkok Post reported yesterday.
"Bullman was drunk and causing so much noise that hotel security came to warn him twice," said Maj Ekkachai, British news site The Sun reported.
He also said Mr Bajaj was holding a steak knife when he "confronted the tourist for making too much noise because his wife and child wanted to sleep".
"They started fighting and Mr Bajaj stabbed Mr Bullman in the left shoulder," he added.
Bullman admitted to arguing with Mr Bajaj and entering his room. He also admitted to placing Mr Bajaj in a chokehold but claimed he acted instinctively and did not intend to kill him.
Mrs Bajaj has issued a statement denying reports that her husband was holding a knife.
A memorial event was due to take place for Mr Bajaj on yesterday evening at the Sikh temple in Southall Park Avenue, near London, where he was a member, The Guardian reported.
Mr Harmeet Singh Gill, the temple's general secretary, said the community was "shocked and saddened" to learn of his death "while protecting his family".
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