Pattaya police probe suspected love-triangle killing

Pattaya police probe suspected love-triangle killing

Former football ref attempts suicide after woman stabbed to death

Jomtien Beach Road in Pattaya. (Photo: Marine Department)
Jomtien Beach Road in Pattaya. (Photo: Marine Department)

CHON BURI: Pattaya police have arrested a former football referee who allegedly stabbed a local guesthouse owner to death and then attempted suicide on Saturday.

Authorities and rescue workers rushed to Jomtien Beach Road in Bang Lamung district and found 57-year-old Sunthorn Porjai, a physical trainer and ex-Thai Football League referee, in a delirious state and covered in blood from an open wound on his neck.

Mr Sunthorn, also known as Ben, was holding a 40cm knife, which he had tied to his arm and used to fend off authorities before eventually losing consciousness.

Emergency workers managed to approach him, provide aid and transport him to Pattaya Hospital. It was later discovered that he had also been stabbed in the stomach and had severed his own oesophagus.

At the scene, police discovered the lifeless body of a woman lying in a pool of blood behind a counter inside the building. She was identified as guesthouse owner Saowaji Lekkian, 51. Initial observations suggested that she had died from a stab wound to the neck, and she also had multiple slashes on her head.

According to a motorcycle taxi driver who reported the incident, he heard screaming and witnessed Sunthorn wildly slashing at the woman before turning the knife on himself. The attacker, in his crazed state, then wielded the knife to prevent others from approaching him and continued to harm himself.

Police said Saowaji had filed a police report in March stating that she had received a threatening phone call. This led them to believe that she knew Sunthorn and might have been involved in an extramarital relationship with him, which eventually led to her murder.

Saowaji’s husband, Prakrot Lekkian, 58, could not be questioned as he was in a state of shock. He confirmed that they had been married for over 20 years and had two children together, but he was unaware of the circumstances surrounding her murder.

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