Thailand gang-rape: British student 'attacked by four men as she walked home'
Charlotte Philby is a writer at The Independent with a weekly column on motherhood in The Independent Magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Cudlipp award for excellence in popular journalism for her undercover investigative work, and writes for various cultural magazines.
Tuesday 19 February 2013
Thai officials were searching for four men after a British student claimed she was gang-raped in the city of Nakorn Sri Thammarat.
The 20-year-old victim, from Fort William in Inverness-shire, had been out drinking with a friend when the pair was refused entry to a restaurant for being too drunk.
According to local reports, the victim’s friend, who is from South Africa, went back to their shared flat alone after being rejected by Nakorn Vientiane Restaurant, a popular after-hours drinking spot. Beforehand the pair had been drinking at the Rock 99 bar in Thawang Market.
The alleged victim, a Scottish student who had been in the capital of the southern Thai province of Nakorn Sri Thammarat for two weeks and was applying for work as a teacher locally, had stayed out and claimed she was later dragged to a block of flats by a group of four men and raped.
Neighbours alerted police to the young woman’s presence, and she was found crying on the balcony where she the attack is believed to have taken place. She is thought to have been there for several hours before police arrived.
Local officials confirmed that the victim was still drunk then she was found and could not talk clearly but managed to convey what had happened. It is believed the male attackers followed her as she made her way home, before dragging her to a block of flats and raping her.
The student, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had been awaiting the results of her application to work as an English teacher at a local school while taking time out from university in the UK.
Lieutenant Colonel Niti Boonchan who is heading up an investigation into the attack, said: “She was found crying on the second floor balcony. She had scratches on her body and she was taken to hospital for forensic tests.”
In the year ending April 2012 there were 13 recorded cases of rape in Thailand against British nationals.
Last year 21-year-old Jack Cole from Bath, Somerset was stabbed as he tried to protect his girlfriend April Clifton from a gang who tried to rape her at a beach resort in Ao Nang, Krabi.
A spokesperson for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office said: “We are aware of a British national having been involved in a serious assault in Thailand. We are providing assistance at this difficult time."
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