Brit drug baron's luxury life on the run in Thailand
Fugitive who skipped off to Thailand 9 years ago
A convicted drugs baron who fled to Thailand before he could be sentenced has been living like a king there for nine years.
Darren Oxley, 42, could have been jailed for at least 10 years for running a multi-million-pound syndicate dealing cocaine and ecstasy - but he skipped bail after he was found guilty.
Bungling police and officials from the Crown Prosecution Service have never made any attempt to extradite him - and he even managed to renew his British passport in Bangkok.
He is now living the high life in Thailand, driving Lamborghinis and Bentleys while running a company building luxury houses.
South Yorkshire Police failed to put him on a stop list to prevent him from leaving the country and refuse to explain why they have never tried to extradite him back to Britain.
Nine members of his gang were jailed for a total of 60 years in 2001 at Sheffield Crown Court for flooding the area's clubs with cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines.
During the case it was claimed that Oxley was the ringleader of the operation and his crew had "lived in fear" of him. He was described as "violent" and "not a man you mess with".
In Thailand he set up a building company called Oxley Homes in Hua Hin, 150 miles south of Bangkok. He held parties for local officials and even joined police on the local firing range.
Oxley has now been accused of attacking ex-US Marine Don Whiting, 65, who bought a home in Thailand from the Briton then complained he was defrauded over water bills.
Mr Whiting's car was firebombed in July 2008 and then in October he was gunned down at his home. He is paralysed from the waist down and will never walk again.
The day after the shooting he was due to give evidence in five cases of fraud against Oxley in court. Mr Whiting said: "The only person I had a row with was Darren Oxley. He was threatening me. He told me some harm could come to me. How can this Briton Darren Oxley even be allowed to live in Thailand?" Three local men were charged with the attempted murder while Oxley's wife, Janpen, 32, was charged with commissioning the assassination attempt. Mr Oxley was also arrested over the shooting but not charged.
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that there had never been any attempt to extradite Oxley. A spokesman said: "Due to the type and age of the offence, the file on Oxley has been destroyed in accordance with CPS policy on retention.
"Oxley left the country before sentencing, so should he return to the UK, he would be arrested and brought to court to be sentenced." A spokesman for the Home Office said: "We can neither confirm nor deny requests for extradition."
This week Oxley was unavailable for comment. But he said earlier: "I have nothing to do with the attacks on Donald Whiting.
"Look, he could have upset anybody.
You can buy somebody on a street corner for 2,000 baht (£40) and they would do it."
By Justin Penrose; Andrew Drummond