Phuket murder

Norwegian accused of killing Briton jumps bail

The family of an IT consultant allegedly killed by a Norwegian man in Phuket remains confident that the authorities in Thailand will ensure justice is served.

Roger Bullman, 53, skipped a court appearance on the popular resort island on Monday and is said to be on the run.

He allegedly killed British IT consultant Amitpal Singh Bajaj, 34, during a fight on Aug 21 at the popular Centara Grand Beach Resort in Karon, Phuket.

Bullman was freed on bail two weeks ago by the Phuket Provincial Court for 60,000 Norwegian kroner (S$9,200) after being charged with causing harm resulting in the death of Mr Amitpal, who was married to Singaporean Bandhna Kaur Bajaj, 34.

The Norwegian was due to reappear in court on Monday morning to assess his bail conditions.

In a statement to The Straits Times, Mr Amitpal's family in Singapore said they were saddened to learn that Bullman had failed to turn up in court.

"We have faith that the relevant authorities and agencies in Thailand will take all necessary measures to ensure justice and truth prevail," the family said.

Several international news outlets reported that an arrest warrant has been issued for Bullman. This was after his lawyer Pawitra Laohaviroj appeared in court instead, and made an application for his bail to be renewed.

Roger Bullman, seen with a stab wound in his left shoulder, is reportedly on the run after failing to appear in court in Thailand on Monday. PHOTO: ROYAL THAI POLICE


The application was rejected as Bullman was not present.

He was last seen sunbathing and taking a swim at the Ikon Hotel in Phuket on Monday, after moving out from a guest house near Karon beach.

But he "vanished" from his hotel room without checking out, Thai news outlets reported.

Mr Amitpal's family in London expressed anger and shock that Bullman was granted a hearing to assess his bail.

"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," the family said.

"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," the family added.

The incident, which resulted in Mr Amitpal dying of asphyxiation, happened in his room, which he shared with his wife and their 20-month-old son.

The family was awoken by loud noises, including a man's raised voice and Bullman's opera singing, from the adjacent room in the early hours.

This continued until 4am.

In an earlier interview with The Straits Times, Ms Bandhna said a man "barged into our room and just started charging at my husband".

Bullman, who was found with a stab wound in the shoulder, reportedly had martial arts training and claimed he did not intend to kill Mr Amitpal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2019, with the headline 'Norwegian accused of killing Briton jumps bail'. Print Edition | Subscribe