Temple servant charged with murder, says averted robbery

Temple servant charged with murder, says averted robbery

Pinyo Suwanno, left, during the re-enactment of the murder at Wat Sisawangwong, in Songkhla's Hat Yai district, on Sunday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
Pinyo Suwanno, left, during the re-enactment of the murder at Wat Sisawangwong, in Songkhla's Hat Yai district, on Sunday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: A temple servant surrendered to police on Sunday and confessed he had killed a man he overheard telling people by phone that everyone was asleep and it was safe to come and rob the temple

Pinyo Suwanno, 48, a layman who lives at Wat Sisawangwong, also known as Wat Koh Sua, turned himself in at Hat Yai police station about 5pm on Sunday.

He told police that late on Saturday night he overheard 47-year-old Thammarit Ngamchom, who was sitting in the temple, talking to friends on the phone. He allegedly told them it was safe to come and rob the temple because the abbot and other monks had retired to sleep.

Mr Pinyo said that he was filled with anger, grabbed a wooden staff and hit Thammarat three times on the head with it, killing the man on the spot. He tied a loincloth around Thammarat's neck and dragged the body into the bushes to behind the dharma school inside the temple. He left if there.

Thammarat's body was found by monks about 7am on Sunday.

Mr Pinyo said he acted alone upon hearing Thammarat planning the robbery, because he knew that  400,000-500,000 baht in cash was kept inside the temple.

He was taken back to the temple for a re-enactment, charged with murder and detained at Hat Yai police station for further legal proceedings.

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