Fatal fine error, aim for the sky, fisherman's pride
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Fatal fine error, aim for the sky, fisherman's pride


One misery after another

A Suphan Buri man took his own life in despair at being able to raise a police fine arising from a fight involving his youngest son, his family says.

Seksan, whose father took his own life over a police fine.

Sakhon (no surname provided), 63, hanged himself inside the family home in Song Phi Nong district apparently after being unable to find a 1,000 baht fine which he believed police had demanded, arising from a schoolyard fight involving his 14-year-old son and another boy on June 30.

The boy's father witnessed the fight and stepped in, threatening Sakhon's son.

"You should be careful as I drive a 10-wheel truck and might run you over," he growled.

When Sakhon's son told him not to curse him, the father struck him in the eye.

Later, when Sakhon's family lodged a complaint, they came away thinking that police proposed that each side pay 1,000 baht to settle the dispute.

In fact, Song Phi Nong police say, Sakhon's family misunderstood. The fine is only imposed on the party accused of assault, assuming police find there's a case to answer, and the two sides cannot settle the matter.

"Sakhon's family was asked if they would be happy to settle the dispute with a fine, or if they wanted police to send the matter to court," said Pol Lt Col Apichart Panphrae, deputy superintendent of inquiries.

"In the event they were not willing to settle, so police gathered the evidence and sent the matter onwards."

Sakhon's family was not asked to pay any money and the process was explained clearly to them, he said. Earlier, netizens hammered the police for their harsh treatment of Sakhon's family.

The penalty for an assault conviction in court is stiffer: a potential spell in jail of up to a month, or a fine of up 10,000 baht, or both.

Sakhon's eldest son, Seksan, 29, told reporters that his father complained of having no money to pay the fine other than by recourse to a village insurance fund into which he had paid, to cover his funeral costs in the event of his death.

He is raising three sons alone after his wife died, leaving him emotionally bereft and prone to depression, Seksan said.

"We sat down to discuss the problem and when I heard Dad mention his funeral insurance, I told him to put it out of his mind. I said there must be many other ways to raise the money. However, he kept asking me if I could find the 1,000 baht we needed to pay the police," he said.

He assumes his father decided to take his own life in the expectation his family would use the funeral payout to pay the fine.

The family is indeed poor, news reports said, with Bang Bon temple, where the funeral was held, having to provide the casket, as the family could not afford one.

Meanwhile, news reports later in the week said police had nabbed Sakhon's middle son, Komsan, 26, for possession of drugs after he got involved in a fight with village locals.

Police called to break up the fight searched those involved, and found Komsan with six ya ba pills, they said.

He is known to police, starting five years ago when he dodged the military conscription lottery. The same year, he was caught for drug possession. Three years later, he was caught for gambling, and earlier this year, once again for possession of ya ba, reports said.

"His father's body isn't yet cremated, but already he's causing more trouble," one news outlet sniffed. Police charged him with possession of ya ba.

Gun-mad druggie shoots local

A Nakhon Sawan woman fell victim to a random shooting by a drug-crazed neighbour who insists he wasn't aiming in her direction.

Police arrest Korakot after he shot dead a woman next door.

Takhli police nabbed Korakot (no surname provided) for killing Chompoo Chitpreecha, 44, who was having a meal outside a nearby grocery store with a friend on July 1 when she was shot.

Korakot, his parents and neighbours say, would play loud music and fire his .38 calibre handgun into the sky when drunk or high on drugs.

"No one was brave enough to complain as no one wants to be his next victim," said neighbour Wachira (no surname given), 61, owner of the grocery store. She was having a meal with the victim when she was shot.

After shots rang out in the evening air, Chompoo exclaimed that she had been hit. She collapsed soon after.

The bullet entered her right shoulder and passed through to her heart. Rescue workers were unable to revive her.

Chompoo had just finished helping her two school-aged children with their homework, and met her for a meal outside the shop every evening, she said.

"I knew Korakot was shooting into the air, but I assumed he would fire in another direction," she said.

CCTV images showed Korakot had caused trouble for Ms Wachira only the month before, smashing his vehicle into a friend's vehicle outside her shop. She threw a bottle at his sedan.

Wachira believes Korakot was really aiming for her on the night of the shooting to seek revenge, but shot Chompoo by mistake. He denied it when nabbed by police, claiming he was shooting to drive away birds.

The suspect's mother, Weerawan "Ing" Wichitnak, 72, dropped into the station to urge police to show her son no mercy.

"I have complained several times of Korakot running amok when he is high and smashing up our place. In fact, my husband and I were too scared to live there any more so moved elsewhere," she said.

He pawned a sedan to buy the gun online, she said, and likes to shoot his gun into the sky when drunk or high. Years of drug abuse had left him mentally ill, Ms Weerawan said. "We still drop in to see him and were there on the night of the shooting. However, when we saw he was going crazy again, we left. The shooting occurred an hour later, we learned later.

News reports did not say how her son was able to pay for his drug habit, though she said a past attempt at rehab had failed. "If we had still been there, I am sure we would both be dead," she added.

Chompoo's husband, Tui, who works in Rayong, said he was angry to hear about his wife's death. "As soon as the kids got home they asked where their Mum was. I wasn't game to say, so I told them she had gone out. Both have tests at school today. I don't want them heartbroken before the test, so I will keep it to myself until they get home," he told reporters.

Police charged Korakot with premeditated murder and firearms offences.

Fish fight turns deadly

A Pathum Thani shrimp fisherman says he is pleased to have killed a rival fisherman in the area, saying he used a net to scoop up fish and enjoyed an unfair advantage.

The fishing boats involved in the shooting.

Muang police nabbed Somkid Umyat, 65, for killing Manot Sukkasem, 53, whose body was found in his fishing boat. The boat was found adrift near a jetty on the edge of the Chao Phraya River where the men fished, near Inner Pathum Thani Road in Bang Duea sub-district.

Mr Somkid approached from behind in his own boat and shot him in the forearm, chest and rib cage, before heading home, he told police later.

Manot, bleeding heavily, found the strength to call his wife, Orawan, 53, saying he had been shot and asking for help. He identified Mr Somkid as the culprit, though the suspect, when nabbed by police later, said he was proud to admit to the shooting.

"Our dispute has been festering for two or three years. I have been trying to figure out a way to get him for ages and now I have.

"Fishermen who come later after me can rest easy, knowing he is no longer around to take advantage and deprive them of a living," he said.

Manot, he said, would lay a net to scoop up fish, leaving others who relied on more humble methods such as a line and bait with virtually no fish to feed themselves.

Orawan said her husband doesn't go out fishing much, and usually they go together. However, on the day of the shooting she was tied up. "Somkid had accused him of fishing the river dry and wanting all the fish for himself," she said. In fact, her husband had no problems with anyone other than Somkid, and was well liked.

The victim's son-in-law (unnamed), meanwhile, said other fishermen were disgusted with Mr Somkid's behaviour. "Whenever they laid a net he would pull out his phone and take pictures of them, for whatever reason, no one knows," he said. Police charged Mr Somkid with premeditated murder and firearms offences.

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