51 year old UK man followed his wife Kanda after she stumbled from he residence they were dining in after beating and kicking her repeatedly. After she collapsed on the ground, he placed a blanket over her as he was only wearing underwear. He then retired inside and slept. Both had been drinking beer. The next morning he awoke to the sound of Thai police investigating the death and murder of his beautiful and accomplished 29 year old wife, the mother of his children. Kanda was dead. Subsequently charged with involuntary manslaughter by Thai authorities he was sent to Ubon Ratchathani tough central prison await trial before a Thai court.
The death of a UK man who killed his Thai wife a year ago this week was announced over the weekend by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 51 year old Kevin Smitham’s tragic story is one that all foreigners to Thailand and particularly those with Thai wives should read. The UK man died four months after he brutally killed his wife by beating and kicking her to death after a sudden row flared up while they dined alone at her parents home in Ubon Ratchathani where they were staying for the Songkran holiday. He died in Ubon Ratchathani Central Prison while awaiting his trial before a Thai court for involuntary manslaughter. News of the circumstances of his death are emerging. Thai police have suggested that his death at the prison in August was either an accident or suicide.
Last weekend the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the death of Nottingham man Kevin Smitham, the 51 year old UK man who killed his wife at exactly this time last year during Songkran festivities in her home province of Ubon Ratchathani. The couple had traveled there from their luxury in home in Pattaya to spend time with the family of Mr Smitham’s wife, 29 year old Kanda Smitham. It was a nightmare story that we reported in full here last year. The story gave some insight into what must have been the tormented mind of the UK man as he knuckled down to the hard, cramped and uncomfortable life in a tough Thai prison:
Kevin Smitham woke up on April 16th 2018 from an alcohol induced sleep to find the nightmare that sunny morning of the night before was real and had not gone away. The Thai police were already on the property, called in by locals, to investigate how his wife had died.
Story of UK man who destroyed his life in one rash action has captivated our readers
The story of how one split second of madness could destroy a man’s life and plunge it into a nightmare has captivated our readers. The death of Mr Smitham, in fact, we now know occurred in August last year at Ubon Ratchathani Central Prison in the Nai Mueang area. This is the penal institution where he was being held since his arrest the day after he killed his Thai wife when he woke up that one hot, sunny morning in Thailand to the nightmare that had simply not gone away with an alcohol induced sleep. Mr Smitham had been drinking and dining the evening before privately with his wife in the home quarters of her family that had been reserved for the couple during their holiday visit.
Thai wife declined his sexual advances while couple dined sparking the UK man’s suspicions
He told Thai police that day, after being arrested, that his wife had spurned his requests for sex and it had caused him to fly into a rage of disquiet, suspicion and anger. The UK man attacked his wife in a flurry of blows including kicks with his feet to the head and to her body while she lay on the ground. His beautiful wife managed to stumble away from him and the residence only to collapse outside. A drunken Mr Smitham followed her but could only place a blanket on his wife’s semi naked body (she was in her underwear) and return inside to fall asleep wishing, perhaps, that it was all a nightmarish dream and would somehow rectify itself in the morning.
News of Smitham’s death came one year after his Thai wife’s killing during last year’s Songkran
News of Mr Smitham’s death last year was officially announced by UK authorities before Songkran weekend on the eve of the anniversary of his wife’s killing. The official announcement came eight months after he, himself, had died in Thai prison on August 15th 2018. It would be true to say there was scant sympathy for the man who once had it all and destroyed everything including his loving wife, the mother of has children as well as his own future and liberty in one rash act of anger.
Scant sympathy for UK man who died in Thai prison
Many UK online websites featured posters who expressed sympathy for Smitham’s singularly attractive and accomplished Thai wife, Kanda Smitham. Strangely, Thai online audiences last year were more sympathetic to the UK husband following the killing. They more readily accepted the tragic plight of the foreigner husband. Thai police had charged him with the lesser criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter for what was, certainly, a most distressing crime. In Thailand, the use of one’s feet is a particular vexatious issue. However, the Thai police are used to dealing with crimes of passion that they are forced to investigate all too often between men and women in Thailand when it comes to matters of the heart or those of a sexual nature. Such cases are numerous and frequent. It is said that feminine beauty attracts emotional and spiritual turbulence. Thailand is home to an endless array of beautiful women and any regular perusal of Thai police reports will prove that statement to be true.
News on how Kevin Smitham died at Ubon Ratchathani Prison in Thailand as emerged
News is now emerging as to just how Mr Smitham died in August. It is reported that the UK man fell from a building in the prison on the afternoon of Wednesday August 15th. Thai police, some of whom were familiar with the investigation in April in to the death of Mr Smitham’s wife, were called from the police station in central Ubon Ratchathani to the prison complex at 3 pm that afternoon. They quickly identified Kevin Smitham lying at the bottom of a prison building at the perimeter of the complex. Police Lieutenant Colonel Bramot Shueanda attended the scene.
UK man found still alive but seriously injured at the bottom of a prison building
They found Mr Smitham still alive on the ground having fallen from a steep height. Rescue workers also arrived and helped remove the 51 year old UK man to a hospital in a hurry in a desperate attempt to save his life. The emergency workers already could see that the Kevin Smitham had suffered severe injuries from his fall. This was confirmed by Police Lieutenant Colonel Shueanda. ‘He was still alive at the time we arrived, so we rushed him to the hospital,’ he said. However the UK man had succumbed from his injuries by the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital.
Thai police believe it was an accident or suicide
Thai police were understood to be trying to determine if the death of the UK man was an accident or if he had killed himself. He was awaiting trial on ‘involuntary manslaughter’ which could have seen him with some opportunity of being released at some point in his life if he was lucky. However, give the circumstances of the crime, it is difficult to see how a Thai court might have been lenient with the UK man. Thai prison for foreigners is an appalling prospect and even more so for a man who has brought everything on himself through one hair triggered and ill judged response prompted by jealousy, suspicion, sexual desire and the consumption of alcohol.
Retired engineer made his fortune in the German auto industry. With his blessed life in Pattaya, he was never gong to find Thai prison life easy
A retired former engineer, Kevin had worked in the German automotive industry and retired after a lucrative career. The Thai Examiner report from May last year captures the nightmare and tragedy that the UK man brought on himself. Blessed with a highly attractive and capable 29 year old Thai woman as his wife, he also had three beautiful children and lived a life of luxury in Pattaya. The fall to being an inmate in an overcrowded and harsh Thai prison in Ubon Ratchathani for years, decades or even for life could not have been easy for the UK man to handle. Foreign prisoners in overcrowded Thai prisons face many hardships including a language barrier, chronic overcrowding and a real shortage of sustainable food.
Thailand’s prison system is a challenge of all foreigners who find themselves behind bars
Many foreigners only make it through the Thai penal system with extensive support from friends and family on the outside. Such individuals are required to supply food, money, morale boosting visits and to liaise with legal representatives to further their plight. The death of former legal high drugs millionaire Kemp Ashby also known as Lee Vincent from New Zealand at the beginning of this year highlights the danger. The man from New Zealand was being held in a Bangkok prison on immigration charges. He was arrested on a routine immigration sweep in Pattaya at his luxury condo complex for overstaying his visa sometime in December 2018. He was found dead in prison this February. The kiwi is believed to have had an underlying medical condition but was also in training as a bodybuilder. His death highlights the threat that all foreigners face when contemplating spending time in any of Thailand’s prison institutions. Some now argue that it is not prison violence that is the biggest threat caused by increased and chronic overcrowding in Thailand’s penal system but the risk of disease or damage to the inmate’s health.
Thai prisons are professionally run but foreigners without external support find it difficult
One American foreigner who was arrested and held for 4 months in Thailand in recent years, claims he was forced to spend an extended period locked up because he could not arrange for someone on the outside to access his bank account and buy him a plane ticket home. Arrested because he was wanted in the US on a minor charge, he returned to New York and faced his prosecution which resulted in a fine. However, the US man was subsequently blacklisted from Thailand and reports that while in prison, he was attacked repeatedly by a mentally ill man. For all this, it must be said, that Thai prisons are well run and managed on a professional basis. The problem is the overcrowding and the isolated position of foreigners with no outside support.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office would only confirm this week that Mr Smitham had died in August last year and that they were providing support to the Nottingham man’s family in the the United Kingdom. The fate of the UK man’s children and estate in Thailand is unknown.