PHITSANULOK - A 45-year-old man charged with strangling and then raping his 14-year-old neighbour has been sentenced to death.
The provincial court on Thursday handed down the death sentence to Son Humpiang, 45, for murder and rape.
The victim, a student at Nakhon Thai School, was strangled with a rope at her house in tambon Bo Pho on April 5 this year.
The girl was home alone at the time. Neighbours remembered seeing Son walking near the victim's house the day she was killed.
Police arrested the 45-year-old man on April 6, hiding in a corn plantation about 3km from the girl's home in Nakhon Thai district.
The parents and relatives of the girl were present at the court to hear the judgement. The tearful parents said they were satisfied, but questioned whether Son would be executed by legal injection once all the court procedures were complete.
Son confessed to all charges. The evidence against him was strong. The court also ordered that he pay 350,000 baht in compensation, plus interest at 7.5% a year, to the victim's parents.
The death sentence gets an automatic appeal.