Thai accused of shooting Britons freed on bail

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The families of two British tourists shot dead in Thailand said yesterday it was a "travesty of natural justice" that their accused killer should have been granted bail.

The families of two British tourists shot dead in Thailand said yesterday it was a "travesty of natural justice" that their accused killer should have been granted bail.

Adam Lloyd, 25, from Torquay, and Vanessa Arscott, 24, from Ashburton, Devon, were killed in the tourist town of Kanchanaburi in September.

A Thai policeman, Sergeant Somchai Visetsingha, was freed yesterday on £13,500 bail after pleading not guilty to murder. He spent a month on the run, then surrendered in October. Under Thai law, the court is obliged to consult police and prosecutors when considering a bail application, but failed to do so in Sgt Somchai's case, prosecutors said.

The fathers of the backpackers, Brian Lloyd and Graham Arscott, and Vanessa's sister Alyssa, 27, met the Foreign Office minister, Baroness Symons, to ask her to intervene in the case.

Mr Arscott said: "I understand that this double murderer will have the freedom to roam around Kanchanaburi, where he lives, in close proximity to most of the witnesses. He has every opportunity to intimidate them. The fact that he murdered Vanessa because she was a witness to Adam's murder makes a powerful statement to these vulnerable Thai witnesses. Don't they deserve protection?"

Sgt Somchai, who could face the death sentence if convicted, is accused of murdering Mr Lloyd and Ms Arscott after an argument on 9 September at his restaurant in Kanchanaburi. He denied murder yesterday, despite previously admitting that he had shot Mr Lloyd because he spat in his face.

He is due in court again on 20 December, when a trial date will be set.

Comments