Parents 'will never forgive' school head for son's beating death
text size

Parents 'will never forgive' school head for son's beating death

Police building case against military cadet tutorial school owner who admitted hitting teen 20 times with a baseball bat

Phitsanu and Suwanna Sapsin discuss the final days of their 15-year-old son Thanakorn, who died after a beating at a military cadet tutorial school in Nakhon Sawan. (Photo by Chalit Poomrueng)
Phitsanu and Suwanna Sapsin discuss the final days of their 15-year-old son Thanakorn, who died after a beating at a military cadet tutorial school in Nakhon Sawan. (Photo by Chalit Poomrueng)

NAKHON SAWAN: The parents of a 15-year-old boy who died from a beating at a military cadet tutorial school have called for the harshest punishment against the school owner and two other suspects, saying their inhuman acts will never be forgiven.

Phitsanu and Suwanna Sapsin met with police investigators in Nakhon Sawan province on Friday and later underwent testing to compare their DNA with that found on a baseball bat bearing the name of the school owner.

Natthaphol Thavornphibun, the school owner and prime suspect in the murder of Thanakorn "Nong Chaidaen" Sapsin, has admitted hitting the boy with a baseball bat more than 20 times on June 12 at Ban Phi Nat tutorial school in tambon Wat Sai in Muang district of Nakhon Sawan.

The beating caused severe injuries, including a torn pancreas, which led to the boy’s death in hospital two days later. The injury marks on his body suggested he had been struck with a hard object across his back and legs.

Mr Natthaphol beat Thanakorn as punishment for swearing after the school owner’s mother-in-law refused to return the boy’s mobile phone when he asked for it, according to a police source.

Investigators say Mr Natthaphol staged weekly beating sessions called “expiation”, in which he gave a baseball bat to each boy and told them to hit someone who did something wrong or anyone they simply wanted to hit.

Bloodstains found at the scene as well as in Mr Natthaphol’s car are being treated as evidence, as are eight baseball bats police retrieved after Mr Natthaphol and other students allegedly dumped them beneath a bridge crossing the Ping River.

One of the retrieved bats had Mr Natthaphol’s name on it. There were also burn marks found on the boy’s body. It was reported that the school head had also ordered some students to hold Thanakorn down and set fire to his pubic hair.

Mr Natthaphol, his wife Phiraya Phalasaen, and mother-in-law Nonglak Phalasaen, were arrested and charged with colluding to abuse the boy and now are being held in Nakhon Sawan prison. They have denied any wrongdoing.

Nakhon Sawan governor Atthaporn Singhawichai said earlier that an investigation found Mr Natthaphol’s tutorial school was operating illegally. Provincial education officials said there was no record of the school having applied for a licence. (Story continues below)

Natthaphol Thavornphibun, the prime suspect in the murder of 15-year-old student Thanakorn Sapsin, has admitted hitting the boy with a baseball bat more than 20 times. He, his wife and his mother-in-law were taken to Nakhon Sawan prison after being interrogated at Muang district police station. (Photo by Chalit Poomrueng)

Ms Suwanna, the boy’s mother, said her family was delighted that police had ben able to arrest the suspects. But after learning what the accused had done to her son, she said she was extremely sad for having allowed her son to attend the boarding school. 

She condemned the violence committed against her son as inhuman and said her family would not accept any apologies from the accused.

Her family would fight the case to the end as the prime suspect’s acts were so cruel, she said, adding that if those responsible escaped punishment, more youths might end up like her son.

“Initially, we did not want to send our son to study here, but he was determined to be a military cadet,” she said. “He looked for information on the internet about tutorial schools and was interested in Ban Phi Nat tutorial school. He had faith in the tutor and wanted to study there.

“In the first year, we paid 210,000 baht to the school and another 250,000 baht in the second year, excluding boarding and meal expenses.

“Parents were allowed to meet their sons once a week,” she continued. “We could take our son to sleep at our house once a week. Later, we could not meet him as Mr Natthaphol claimed all students had to study hard. If parents wanted to meet their sons, they had to make an appointment. This kept us at a distance from our sons.

“We were later shocked when we received a phone call from the tutor saying that our son had suffered head injuries and broken arms,” said the tearful mother.

After the death of their son, the parents went to the boarding school to take his belongings back home. There they found his unsent letters that made them break into tears. Their son had written that he was in a “hell-like” place as he was often beaten. He wanted to go home but was not allowed, according to local media reports quoting from the letters.

Mr Phitsanu said tearfully that his family was deeply saddened by the loss of their only child. He said he wanted the suspects to face the maximum punishment.

Pol Col Sutthinan Khongchaemdee, chief of Muang police station in Nakhon Sawan, said investigators were working around the clock to conclude their inquiries as the first 12-day detention period for the suspects would end soon.

He said investigators would oppose the bail requests of the three suspects, Thai media reported.

Criminal suspects can be detained for seven 12-day periods, or 84 days in total, before an indictment must be made.

Divers search for baseball bats allegedly dumped in the Ping River by the tutorial school owner. (Photo by Chalit Poomrueng) 

Among the baseball bats retrieved from the Ping River, one had the name of school owner Natthaphol Thavornphibun on it. (Photo by Chalit Poomrueng)

Do you like the content of this article?