Briton beaten to death in Thailand

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A British businessman has died after being attacked in Thailand by robbers. James Edward Hall, 57, from Sunderland, was set upon by men who planned to steal his cash - believed to be about €150 (£100).

Mr Hall's body was discovered near a bungalow on Chang Island's Sai Khao beach, about 400km from Bangkok, on Saturday.

Three Thais - two aged 18 and one 20 - have been arrested, said Lieutenant Supin Naoprakson of the Thai police. They had previously worked as labourers for Mr Hall, who was building a property on the island.

"In the interrogation, the three suspects confessed that they had beaten the victim in order to rob him of his money," Lt Naoprakson said.

"They did not mean to murder him. They just tried to get money from him. But then they just had fighting. They just used boots, and then just hit his head. Something like that," he said.

"They used to work to build the bar for that Englishman. That is why they knew about where this guy was staying, and how much money he had in the wallet.

"They were arrested last night. Tomorrow, we can take them to court," he said yesterday.

Mr Hall was said to have arrived on the island in October and was a frequent visitor.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm James Edward Hall has died. We are liaising with police in Thailand and police in the UK. We are trying to trace next of kin."

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said the family had been informed of Mr Hall's death and were "extremely distressed". The family have requested the media do not contact them, he said.