News State Victoria News Letters link to accused killers

Letters link to accused killers

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Two Thai men accused of stabbing to death a Melbourne man outside a convenience store have written letters to his family, a court has heard.

Luke Mitchell, 29, was stabbed to death by a group of men after a night out on the popular Sydney Road night-life strip in Brunswick on May 24, 2009.

Thai national Sarud Seehaverachart, 31, and dual Thai-Australian citizen Thatiya Terdputham, 39, are charged with his murder.

The pair has written letters to Mr Mitchell’s grieving family, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Friday.

Detective Sergeant Sallyanne Leach told the court police will now fingerprint the letters as potential evidence to be used in any trial against the pair.

Documents tendered to the court show police searched homes linked to the accused where they seized clothes, mail and knives wrapped in newspaper within two days of Mr Mitchell’s death.

Warrants to arrest Seehaverachart and Terdputham were issued on May 26.

Both men flew to Thailand just days after his death, the court heard. Terdputham was extradited to Melbourne in September 2013 while Seehaverachart was extradited in January 2014.

Terdputham, Seehaverachart and another unidentified man allegedly fought with Mr Mitchell outside a nightclub about 10 minutes before he was stabbed with a knife in the car park of a 7-Eleven store.

Court documents also show police seized CCTV footage of Seehaverachart at the emergency department of Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital on the day of Mr Mitchell’s death.

Seehaverachart’s former girlfriend, Artitaya Tongpuak, earlier told the court he was treated at the hospital for a knife wound to his arm which he suffered in a fight with an Australian man.

The committal hearing has been adjourned to conclude in September.