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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 14:06 GMT
Charge over British expat murder
A Cambodian teenager has been charged with the murder of a British bar owner by allegedly stabbing him to death in a botched burglary attempt.

Tong Chen, 18, is charged with murdering David Mitchell, 37, from the West Midlands.

Mr Mitchell owned the Ginger Monkey bar in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh where he lived with his New Zealand-born girlfriend Jane Nye, 29.

He was attacked as he tried to defend Miss Nye from an intruder.

Miss Nye, a former journalist for an English-language magazine in Cambodia, encountered Mr Chen as she emerged from the bathroom and screamed for help, said municipal court prosecutor Kry Sok Y.

'Sleepy place'

The attacker had a knife and stabbed at her and Mr Mitchell, who rushed out of the bedroom when he heard his girlfriend's cries.

Mr Mitchell died at the scene from multiple stab wounds. Miss Nye was flown to Thailand for medical treatment.

Police arrested Mr Chen about half an hour later at a nearby park, where he was trying to clean blood from his clothes.

No date has been set for his trial but if the defendant is convicted of murder he could face life imprisonment.

Brandon Davis, a friend of Mr Mitchell living in Cambodia, paid tribute to him and said he was popular and well-known among the locals.

He told BBC WM: "We are all in a bit of a state at the moment. It's a very sleepy little place for the most part, very peaceful."

He said a memorial service is to be held for Mr Mitchell in Cambodia.

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