MP to assist family of tragic Martin Stephen Hale after Cambodian death

The passport of Northern Irish man Martin Hale
The passport of Northern Irish man Martin Hale

Upper Bann MP David Simpson has revealed he is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to secure the return of Banbridge man Martin Stephen Hale who was found dead in a guest house in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Police officers in Cambodia, who named Mr Hale, also said the cause of his death has not been confirmed publicly.

Mr Simpson, a DUP MP, said: “The sudden death of someone so young is obviously a very traumatic and shocking time, but the added complications of it happening so far away from home make it even more difficult for any family.

“I have been in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to help with arrangements to ensure that his body can be returned to Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

“I would like to offer my condolences to Mr Hale’s friends and wider family circle and will continue to offer whatever support I can in the future.”

Police said another man from Northern Ireland - 22-year-old Dean McWilliams, from Co Antrim - was taken to hospital after being found in the same room of the Happy House guesthouse in Phnom Penh on Friday.

Relatives of Mr McWilliams launched an online appeal to trace him after being unable to make contact with him after his discharge from hospital.

It is understood he was later located close to the British Embassy.

A spokeswoman from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are providing support to the family of a British man following his death in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Friday 1 July.

“Our sympathies are with them at this difficult time.”

On Facebook Mr McWilliams sister - Cortney McWilliams - issued a post on July 3 asking for assistance to trace her brother.

“I’m not one for sharing my private life on Facebook but if this helps bring my brother Back I’ll try anything. Dean was recently visiting a friend in Cambodia his friend sadly passed away and Dean ended up in intensive care, he is now missing we don’t know where he is or even if he is safe. Nobody has heard from him. He was last seen at Happy house guest house in Phnom Penh Cambodia at 4am Sunday morning (Cambodian time)If you know anybody in Cambodia please can you tag them in this post. We’re all so worried and just desperate to bring him home safe. His name is Dean McWilliams he is 22.”

Also see: Northern Irish man dead in south-east Asia