A British man accused of murdering a Thai prostitute in 2014 before fleeing to Ibiza has lost an extradition battle and will face trial in Bangkok.
Shane Looker, 51, from Stoke-on-Trent, allegedly murdered strip club dancer Laxami Manochat, 31, before stuffing her body into a suitcase.
Her remains were found a week after her disappearance in a river 95 miles away in Kanchanaburi province.
Looker was arrested in Ibiza in 2017 where he is said to own a hotel and his legal team have since been fighting extradition.
The Spanish High Court ruled he should be extradited but lawyers lodged a series of appeals.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has now ruled that Looker should face justice in Thailand.
They cited extensive case files submitted by the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok which allegedly prove that Looker was the man who had murdered Laxami.
Thai authorities have also reportedly offered assurances required under EU law that Looker will not face the death penalty or be mistreated.
The tourist was at the Hot Lips bar in Nana Plaza, an area that attracts hundreds of foreign men every night in search of alcohol and sex, at the time of Laxami’s death.
After he was named as a suspect, Looker admitted paying a bar in Bangkok’s red-light area to spend time with her.
But speaking in February 2015 he insisted he did not kill her and was preparing to hand himself in to police.
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.’
The dancer’s body was stuffed inside a suitcase and thrown into the Mae Kong River in Kanchanaburi, 70 miles south of the Thai capital Bangkok.
It was found on November 9, 2014, seven days after Looker was last seen the prostitute.
Looker’s identity remained a mystery until a tip-off to Thai blog Stickboy which gave his full name, nationality and an address in Hua Hin, 90 miles south of Bangkok, along with a photo of his passport.
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 Miss Manochat were found at the property.
According to reports in Thailand, DNA tests on nail clippers and a toothbrush and skin under the dancer’s nails also link him as a suspect.
Miss Manochat was reported missing after her mother failed to receive money she regularly sent by Western Union transfer.
Ruling on the case, top EU judges slammed allegedly deliberate attempts by Looker’s legal team to delay the case through a series of appeals.
The court claimed Looker’s could not succeed on the basis of ‘failure to exhaust domestic remedies’.
‘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,’ it declared.