A British man accused of murdering a Thai go-go dancer before fleeing to Ibiza has finally been extradited – more than six years after her shocking death.
Laxami ‘Pook’ Manochat's dismembered body was found stuffed in a suitcase along with a dead dog in 2014.
The suitcase had been weighted down with rocks and thrown into the Mae Klong River in Thailand.
Shane Looker is now expected to face trial over the death of 31-year-old, StokeonTrentLive reports.
Ms Manochat's remains were discovered a week after her disappearance at a river spot located 95 miles away in Kanchanaburi.
Looker, who grew up in Windermere Road, Clayton, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire, sparked an international manhunt after he was identified in CCTV footage walking hand-in-hand with Ms Manochat 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.
The former Clayton High pupil fled the country and was eventually arrested in Ibiza in 2017, where he is reported to own a hotel.
The 51-year-old denies committing the murder and his legal team have been fighting extradition ever since.
But the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Looker should face justice in Thailand.
Now Thai police have finally arrested him after landing at a Thai airport last week.
The ruling came after case files were submitted by the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok, which they claim shows Looker was the man who murdered the strip club dancer.
Thai authorities are also thought to have offered assurances required under EU law that Looker will not face the death penalty or be mistreated.
After he was named as a suspect, Looker is said to have admitted paying a bar in Bangkok’s red-light area to spend time with Ms Manochat.
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Looker's identity remained a mystery until a tip-off to a Thai blog. He had already left by the time police received the information and went to the address with a search warrant.
The shorts and T-shirt he was wearing when he was captured on CCTV with Ms Manochat were reportedly found at the property. DNA on nail clippers and a toothbrush was also alleged to have linked him to the victim.
But speaking in February 2015, Looker insisted he did not kill her and was preparing to hand himself in to the police.
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He said at the time: "Yes, I did know her. I'm happy to accept that I spent time with her.
"She is a bar girl that I knew previously and I accept that I paid the bar fine. There is no way in the world that I'd ever hurt any woman let alone kill her.
"This is a despicable crime which I vehemently deny. I look forward to proving my innocence in the fullness of time."
The Spanish High Court ruled back in 2017 that he should be returned to Thailand to face trial. But Looker's legal team lodged a series of appeals and the case reached the European Court of Justice.
Now EU judges have claimed Looker's case against extradition could not succeed on the basis of 'failure to exhaust domestic remedies'.
The court said: "The applicant knew that he could have lodged an appeal for Amparo against the judicial decision of the Spanish High Court during the extradition process."
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