Death sentence upheld for train-rape child killer

Death sentence upheld for train-rape child killer

Wanchai Saengkhao (centre) arrives at Hua Hin Provincial Court from the Prachuap Khiri Khan prison on Monday to hear the Appeals Court's ruling rejecting his appeal against the death sentence. (Photo by Chaiwat Saadyaem)
Wanchai Saengkhao (centre) arrives at Hua Hin Provincial Court from the Prachuap Khiri Khan prison on Monday to hear the Appeals Court's ruling rejecting his appeal against the death sentence. (Photo by Chaiwat Saadyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN - The Appeals Court has upheld the death sentence imposed by a lower court for a young railway employee who raped and murdered a 13-year-old girl on a rapid train bound for Bangkok from Nakhon Si Thammarat on the night of July 5 last year.

The Appeals Court's decision was read out in the Hua Hin Provincial Court on Monday in the presence of the convicted killer, Wanchai Saengkhao, aged 23.

Wanchai had been brought from Bang Khwang Prison in Bangkok, where he was incarcerated after being convicted, to Prachuap Khiri Khan Prison on Friday, ahead of Monday's delivery of the verdict.

On Sept 30, 2014, the Hua Hin Provincial Court found Wanchai  guilty on several counts.

Wanchai was convicted of raping a 13-year-old Mathayom 2 student who was asleep in her berth on the train, and then throwing her out of the carriage while she was still alive.

The court sentenced him to death for murder, to nine years in prison for raping a girl under 15, five years for stealing her tablet computer and a mobile phone, one year for hiding her body, and six months for using methamphetamine.

The defendant appealed for mercy on the grounds he had confessed in an act of repentance.

The Appeals Court rejected the appeal, arguing Wanchai had confessed because the evidence against him was solid, not because he regretted his actions, and upheld the lower court's judgement and sentences.

Relatives of the victim were in the court for the delivery of the appeal decision, accompanied by lawyer Wanchai Bunnag. The  girl's mother could not be present because she recently underwent hospital surgery.

The State Railway of Thailand has paid the girl's family about 8.5 million baht in compensation, plus funeral costs.  The family said the money could not compensate for their loss and sorrow.


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