Killer who choked British tourist to death in Thailand skips court appearance ‘because he received death threats from locals’, lawyer says, after he is seen relaxing while on bail.
The self-confessed killer of a British father skipped his appearance in a Thai court because he received death threats from locals, his lawyer has said.
Roger Bullman’s Norwegian lawyer, Sulman Hussain, said her client had not gone to court because he had received threats from local citizens and because of media attention.
‘But he will say that he acted in self-defense and that the British citizen attacked him first,’ Hussain told MailOnline today.
‘He was stabbed in the upper part of the shoulder and had to defend himself.’
Bullman is now thought to be on the run since he failed to turn up to court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was also photographed sunning himself by a pool before vanishing.
The 54-year-old had been enjoying his freedom despite admitting he choked Amitpal Singh Bajaj to death with his bare hands.
He had been due to appear at Phuket Provincial Court this morning to assess his bail conditions after Mr Bajaj, 34, died from asphyxiation following a fight between the two men in the hotel.
Instead he checked into a hotel and lazed by the swimming pool.
His lawyer Pawitra Laohaviroj made an application for his bail to be renewed despite the court requirements that he appear in person for the first time since Mr Bajaj died on August 21.
The court threw out her application after being told he had been staying at the Centara Grand Beach Resort, despite Mr Bajaj being killed there.
In fact Bullman had moved into a guest house near Caron Beach and this weekend was at the Ikon Hotel where he enjoyed a swim at the time he should have been at court.
His lawyer told MailOnline he had not come to court as he felt ‘unsafe’ and that he wanted to be represented by a lawyer from his native Norway.
She asked for her client to be allowed to remain on bail until September 8, but this was rejected and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He will now be sought by police and taken to a prison for flouting his bail conditions.
But on Monday he left the Ikon Hotel suddenly.
A staff member said his room was empty but he had not informed them he had left.
Police launched a man hunt as the victim’s family said they were shocked he had been allowed bail despite admitting choking Mr Bajaj to death.
His father Inderbir Singh Bajaj of Southall, London, said: ‘As the berieved parents of Amitpal Singh Bajaj, who was brutally strangled to death on Wednesday the 21st of August by Roger Bullman, we are angered, shocked, sad and bewildered by the extension of bail given to Bullman, who has failed to report to the courts as required today.
‘We are bewildered as to why the authorities allowed a self confessed killer to roam the streets of Phuket unguarded, where he could potentially pose a lethal threat to other innocent parties.
‘We also need to question his whereabouts, and if he is indeed still in Phuket or has absconded.
‘His disrespect for human life, and now his total disrespect for the courts and justice system in Thailand, should be more than sufficient grounds for revoking bail and holding him incarcerated until justice can be served.’
Police reports say Bullman barged into Mr Bajaj’s room through a balcony door after complaints were made about him singing opera at 4am from his adjoining room.
He is said to have opened the sliding door and gone into their room.
A confrontation then ensued as Mrs Bandhna Bajaj escaped with her 20-month-old son Veer. She alerted hotel staff who called police.
Security officials found Mr Bajaj lying postrate with Bullman still choking him.
When police arrived, they arrested Bullman. Mr Bajaj died in hospital shortly after.
Senior police officers said Mr Bullman admitted he killed Mr Bajaj and have statements from him in which he said he would give them any help he could.
The investigation team said Bullman had not, at this stage, claimed self-defence