Police track leaker of Hua Hin beating clip

Police track leaker of Hua Hin beating clip

Senior Hua Hin police and officials meet foreign tourists in the resort town on Friday night as part of a confidence-building exercise following a brutal attack on a British family. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
Senior Hua Hin police and officials meet foreign tourists in the resort town on Friday night as part of a confidence-building exercise following a brutal attack on a British family. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN - Police are looking for the person who leaked a video clip of a savage attack on three British tourists in Hua Hin during the Songkran festival.

Pol Maj Gen Kritsana Jaemsawang, chief of the Prachuap Khiri Khan police, said on Saturday that the clip was evidence intended for official use in the police investigation. As such, it was supposed to be kept confidential until the conclusion of the investigation, which has resulted in four arrests.

The incident occurred on April 13 but did not come to public attention until Thursday when the video emerged and started to go viral on social media. Numerous versions have been posted on YouTube and have attracted tens of thousands of views.

Pol Maj Gen Kritsana told Thai media that sharing the video now that it had gone public was not illegal, but he did question whether doing so violated the rights of the victims, who are seen lying unconscious on the pavement. 

The video provoked shock and outrage worldwide because of the brutality of the assault and the ages of the victims, including a 65-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man from Scotland.

The four men accused of the attack have been caught. Suphatra Baithong, Yingyai Saengkham-in, both aged 32, and Siwa Noksri, 20, were captured within days of the assault while Chaiya Jaiboon, 20, was apprehended at his home in Pran Buri district on Thursday.

The investigation began after Hua Hin police found footage on April 14 from a municipal CCTV camera in the beach resort town. It showed the tourists being violently attacked -- the elderly woman was punched in the face -- during Songkran festivities on Soi Bintabaht in Hua Hin early on April 13.

Shortly after being caught, Mr Chaiya admitted he and his three friends had been drunk at the time, according to police. He said he thought one of the tourists had hit one of his friends first.

The four suspects apologised to the the victims. But one of the victims, Lewis Owen, told the Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK that he and his parents would never come back to Thailand.

Mr Owen said his father suffered two black eyes and received six stitches to his forehead. He had 16 stitches on his head in three areas while his mother suffered fluid on the brain that needed draining.

On Friday night, Pol Maj Gen Kritsana led a team of senior Hua Hin police, tourist police, officials and soldiers onto the streets to meet tourists. They hope to create understanding among visitors that the attack was an isolated incident and the perpetrators were now in custody.


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