Headmaster pleads guilty to gold-shop murders | Bangkok Post: learning

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Headmaster pleads guilty to gold-shop murders

Prasittichai "Golf" Khaokaew, 38, formerly headmaster of Wat Pho Chai School in Sing Buri province, at the Criminal Court on Friday. He confessed to nine counts involving multiple murder and armed robbery. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

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A former school headmaster pleaded guilty to charges of multiple murder during the armed robbery of a gold shop in Lop Buri province on Jan 9.

Prasittichai “Golf’’ Khaokaew, 38, formerly the director of Wat Pho Chai School in neighbouring Sing Buri province, was charged with: murdering people to prepare for another offence, attempted murder to prepare for other offences, robbery with use of firearms and a vehicle that led to deaths and serious injuries, illegally discharging a firearm in a public place, illegally carrying a firearm in public, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition, illegal possession and use of unregistered weapons, using the weapons to commit murder and robbery.

The prosecution alleges that the defendant, armed with an automatic 9mm pistol, entered Robinson Department store in Muang district of Lop Buri on the night of Jan 9 to rob the Aurora gold shop; that he shot dead three people and wounded four others before making off with 33 gold necklaces worth 664,470 baht; that he fled on a motorcycle.

He is accused of shooting dead Theerachat Nimma, a security guard at the shopping centre; a 2-year-old boy, Panuwit Wongyoo; and Thidarat Thongthip, a female employee of the gold shop.

Prosecutors opposed bail, saying the defendant posed a flight risk. They asked the court to convict and punish the defendant and also order him to return a missing gold necklace and amulet worth 13,955 baht to the gold shop.

Most of the stolen gold was found hidden in a carport roof at his father's house.

After hearing the charges, the defendant confessed to all charges. The court set March 23 for the examination of witness and evidence lists. He was to be returned to Bangkok Remand Prison.  

During police interrogation and in answers to reporters' questions, Mr Prasittichai allegedly said he robbed the gold shop because wanted some excitement in his life. He later admitted financial problems were his real motive

Media reported the defendant owed more than 2 million baht to teachers' cooperatives and the Krungthai Bank.

Investigators said Mr Prasittichai had previously spent 300,000 baht on a BMW Z4 which was later seized in a crackdown on illegally imported cars and he had been fined 600,000 baht.

He was also said to be a gun enthusiast.

Vocabulary:

ammunition : bullets, bombs, etc that can be fired from a weapon - อาวุธยุทธภัณฑ์, ลูกกระสุน

confess (verb): to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด

defendant : someone who has been accused of a crime and is on trial - จำเลย

enthusiast : a person who is very interested in something and spends a lot of time doing it - คนที่กระตือรือร้น

firearms : guns - อาวุธปืน

motive : a reason for doing something - แรงจูงใจ

neighbouring : located or living near or next to a place or person - ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง

offence : a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย

prosecution : the person or organisation that tries to prove in court that someone has committed a crime - อัยการ

robbery : the crime of stealing money or goods from a bank, shop/store, person, etc - การปล้น, การโจรกรรม

seize (verb): to take something using force - ยึด, จับกุม

weapon : an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ

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