New documentary about St Leonards yachtsman murdered by pirates off Thailand

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A TV company is filming a documentary about the case of a St Leonards businessman murdered by pirates off the coast of Thailand.

Malcolm Robertson, 64, was bludgeoned and thrown overboard near Koh Dong, off the Andaman coast, after three Burmese teenagers boarded his luxury yacht Mr Bean in March 2009. His wife Linda was left fearing for her life as they kept her tied up for nearly 10 hours before they fled the vessel - named after the Mr Bean chain of coffee shops the couple owned in the Hastings area.

TV production company Workerbee - which specialises in “gripping and globally reaching stories that fascinate and entertain” - said it is making a factual documentary about the murder case for the Discovery Channel.

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Mr Robertson’s body was found 10 nautical miles north of Satun’s Lipeh Island a week after the attack. His killers were sentenced by a Thai court in November 2009. Eksian Warapon, 19, and an 18-year-old known as Aow pleaded guilty to murder and were each sentenced to 25 years in prison. A 17-year-old boy, known as Ko, was jailed for seven years.

Malcolm and Linda Robertson on their yacht Mr Bean.Malcolm and Linda Robertson on their yacht Mr Bean.
Malcolm and Linda Robertson on their yacht Mr Bean.

Mrs Robertson said after the sentences were passed: “I don’t want to trivialise Malcolm’s death but I don’t think 25 years in a Thai prison is going to be pleasant for them. I do hope the time they spend in jail will help them reflect and realise the heinous crime they committed. I also believe they were victims themselves. I don’t think they had any plan. The fact that they didn’t kill me, which they could quite easily have done, shows some compassion from them.”

The three killers had been stranded on an island with little food and water after jumping from a Thai fishing ship. They boarded the St Leonards couple’s anchored yacht and murdered Mr Robertson. They then ate their food supplies before fleeing on the boat’s dinghy, and were arrested half a mile away.

An inquest into Mr Robertson’s death was held by a coroner at Hastings Magistrates’ Court in December 2009, and recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

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In a statement read at the inquest, Mrs Robertson said she tried to dive off the boat but was stopped by the pirates and tied up. She said: “I heard a muffled sound like someone suddenly waking up frightened. I then heard Malcolm say words to the effect of, ‘Get off my boat’ twice and then it fell silent. I could hear the other two boys ransacking the boat for food and equipment. I thought at this time that they must have done to Malcolm what they had done to me.”

She added: “They took me and I could feel a thick sticky fluid between my toes on the floor. I looked down and could see it was blood. I could see blood everywhere, up the walls, on the bed, on the pillows. I knew at this time that Malcolm was dead as a result of all the blood in the room. I started to formulate ideas about my own escape.”

Later, after she heard the pirates board the dinghy, she issued an international distress signal, and sailed to a nearby fishing boat which alerted the authorities.