Man in court over shooting of British holidaymaker Stephen Ashton in Thailand


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The Independent Online

A Thai man accused of shooting dead a British holidaymaker during a New Year’s Eve party in Thailand appeared in court today.

Ekkapan Kaewkla, 26, has been charged with killing Stephen Ashton and carrying a weapon following the incident on the paradise island of Koh Phangan.

Mr Ashton, 22, a former city trader from Purley, south London, was enjoying New Year celebrations when he was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival gangs.

Mr Kaewkla was remanded in custody today after appearing in court on the larger island of Koh Samui. He can be detained for up to 84 days. The BBC have reported  that Thai police believe they have enough evidence to charge him with pre-meditated murder.

Mr Ashton’s family have travelled to Koh Phangan to identify his body formally and make arrangements for its repatriation.

Thai police said Mr Ashton was with a group of friends and 300 other tourists at a pub and restaurant called the Zoom Bar in Haad Rin Beach when he was shot shortly after 4am on Monday.