British kickboxer gets 25 years for US Marine murder

British kickboxer gets 25 years for US Marine murder

BANGKOK - A Thai court sentenced a British kickboxer to 25 years in prison Thursday for the murder of a former US Marine following a bar fight on the island of Phuket.

The sentence on Lee Aldhouse was reduced from life imprisonment because he pleaded guilty to stabbing to death 23-year-old Dashawn Longfellow in 2010. The victim was in Thailand after sustaining a combat injury in Afghanistan.

Aldhouse, known in Phuket by his ring name "The Pitbull", fled to his home country after the incident and become the first British suspect to be extradited to Thailand under a century-old treaty.

"The court originally handed him a life sentence but because he confessed it was reduced to 25 years," his lawyer Kampon Siriwatunyoo told AFP after the ruling in Phuket.

He said Aldhouse - who was 28 at the time of the murder - was considering whether to appeal.

"He prefers to be in a Thai jail rather than serve his sentence in Britain because he said there is a royal pardon once or twice a year here," Kampon added.

Under Thai law Aldhouse could have faced the death penalty.

He is expected to be transferred to another prison on the mainland, according to Phuket provincial prison commander Rapin Nichanon.

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