A senior police officer, on Saturday, Police Colonel Somkiart Chomchai, told reporters that locals close to the situation said that the 22-year-old attacker, with a history of psychiatric issues, was angered by the UK men partying and playing loud music.
The main suspect in the death of a UK man early on Saturday morning last has been handed over to mental health experts after the Superintendent of Kanchanaburi Police ordered an evaluation of the 22-year-old man arrested on foot of a warrant in connection with the brutal slaying of Marcus Evans, a UK man who flew in for a holiday on December 17th last.
Senior police officers in Police Region 7 were in Kanchanaburi last Sunday to supervise the investigation into the murder of a British man named by police on Saturday morning as 49 year old Mr Marcus John Evans from Berrow, near Burnham-on-Sea, in the Somerset region of the United Kingdom.
His friend, Mr Shaun Kevin Dagnan, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire in the UK West Midlands, was taken to Phahon Phon Legion Hospital in what was reported on Saturday morning as a critical condition after he was found by rescuers at the scene near the body of his friend at approximately 4 am.
Reports in the last 24 hours suggest that the injured man is recovering well and has been visited by his girlfriend Pranee who said: ‘Thank you, everyone, for your messages of support – he’s feeling better now’.
UK man’s short Facebook message on the death of his close friend in the early hours of Saturday morning
Mr Dagnan himself, also known affectionately as Daggy, posted a message on Facebook recalling the horrific events of last Saturday morning and the death of his close friend Mr Evans.
‘Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. I love you all but my heart goes out to my friend Marcus and his family; rest in peace big man, shine bright my friend.’
Reports from the scene early on Saturday morning were of a large police presence with a lot of blood found in the vicinity of the dead man’s body which officers described as having sustained a very severe injury to the neck.
Pair began drinking Friday afternoon outside a rented house in Kanchanaburi town centre on Soi Sri Lanka
It is reported that both British men, holidaying in Thailand, had begun drinking beer early on Friday afternoon.
They were accompanied by the Thai girlfriend of Mr Evans who on Saturday gave a full statement to investigating police officers from central Kanchanaburi station in the aftermath of the incident.
Kanchanaburi is a rural province in western Thailand with a town of the same name with a population of approximately 25,000 people. This was where the incident took place early on Saturday morning.
Kanchanaburi is close to where events depicted in the 1957 war film Bridge over the River Kwai took place
The province is also famous for being the location of the River Kwai which inspired an epic war movie in 1957 directed by David Lean, The Bridge on the River Kwai.
The famous movie told the story of the hardships and suffering of British and Allied prisoners at the hands of Japanese forces who occupied parts of Thailand during World War II.
Mr Evans had arrived in Thailand on December 17th last as a foreign tourist to visit his Thai girlfriend.
Former partner and mother of Mr Evans’s two children in the UK also expressed her sense of loss
Back in the UK, in the last 48 hours, the former partner of Mr Evans and the mother of his two children, Melanie Derrick, took to Facebook to express her shock and sadness at the loss of the British man.
‘And just like that another person I loved dearly…. Gone xxx,’ she wrote.
A 22-year-old man, named by police on Saturday as Mr Prasot Thipthep was arrested within hours of the killing by officers on foot of warrant No. 11/2565 issued by Kanchanaburi Provincial Court.
22-year-old arrested on foot of a warrant 5 hours after the killing across the road in a relative’s house
The man was detained by police at a property opposite the rented house outside of which the attack took place in the early hours of Saturday morning.
On Sunday, Police Lieutenant General Thanayut Wutthijarathamrong, the Commander and Chief of Police Region 7, headquartered in Nakhon Pathom, visited Kanchanaburi town to oversee the investigation into the incident.
It is understood that prosecutors have instructed police in Kanchanaburi to look at all aspects of the case including the mental state of the accused who, it has been confirmed, is suffering from a psychiatric disorder.
The arrest warrant for Mr Prasot specified that he is wanted on foot of murder and attempted murder charges or ‘killing and attempting to kill others with intent’ as specified under the Thai criminal code.
Police chief orders a mental health evaluation of the ‘stressed’ suspect under the 2008 Mental Health Act
Under relevant mental health legislation, the Superintendent of Police in Kanchanaburi has the power to order the continued detention of a suspect for mental health evaluation under the Thai Mental Health Act of 2008.
It is understood that the 22-year-old suspect is to be examined by mental health experts under such an order.
A report is then to be prepared for the police to consider as part of their investigation.
Paramilitary police unit to guard the suspect
On Sunday, Police Lieutenant General Thanayut interrogated the suspect who was accompanied by his father as the young man was suffering from acute stress.
He refused to answer police questions particularly as to his motive for the frenzied and lethal assault on the two British men who were sitting outside Number 236/2 Soi Sri Lanka, in Tambon Tha Makham sub-district in the centre of Kanchanaburi in the early hours of Saturday morning reportedly drinking beer at a marble-topped table and playing music loudly.
During the interrogation process, the suspect was surrounded by a highly armed police unit in paramilitary fatigues.
UK men were playing music on a bluetooth speaker
It is reported that the two British men were using a mobile device with a bluetooth connection to a speaker to relay music as they drank together with their girlfriends.
Mr Prasot, the accused man, left a large sickle knife on the ground after the attack and ran into a relative’s house, reported as being Number 14/24 in the same area opposite the rented house where the British men were staying.
Police were urgently summoned to the scene at 3.55 am on Saturday amid reports of a fatality and extreme violence.
Suspect was quickly found covered in bloodstains, he was also attacked by local people after the outrage
The suspect was quickly found with bloodstains on his hands and his shirt.
He was subsequently arrested, some five hours after the attack, when police applied for and were granted a Provincial Court arrest warrant.
Police reported that the man was found trembling when apprehended.
He also appeared to be suffering from injuries although it was later clarified that these came about after he was attacked by local people after the brutal slaying which according to one report, left the UK man nearly beheaded at the scene.
An Italian man, a friend of the deceased who lives in the area, said that he was awoken on Saturday morning by the noise and the commotion of what appeared to be a brawl or a fight with voices raised.
Italian man, woken by the commotion, explained the UK men and attacker had been on friendly terms
59 year old Adria Licci told reporters that he was very surprised and shocked as the attacker was known to be friendly with the two UK men who often shared cigarettes with him.
‘I’ve never seen the three of them arguing before until last night when I heard them all shouting at about 3 am,’ he revealed. ‘I came out of the room to see and found the wounded man and dead man lying on the ground in a pool of blood. We think that the issue was caused by the guys playing loud music, but this should have been discussed and solved. It shouldn’t have to be this violent.’
Police Colonel Somkiart Chomchai, one of the police officers investigating the killing, confirmed that the suspect in the case, Mr Prasot, had been taken into custody at 8.50 am on Saturday.
Investigating police officer says the attacker was angered by loud music and partying of the UK men
‘At the scene, there was a large number of blood marks on the ground. On the marble table were beer bottles and a Bluetooth speaker,’ he explained. ‘We interrogated neighbours nearby the scene and everybody said that the foreigners had been playing music loudly, which made the attacker angry.’
On Sunday, a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said that they were aware of the incident which was reported by the Royal Thai Police to the British Embassy in Bangkok.
‘We are in contact with the Royal Thai Police following the death of one British man and the hospitalisation of another in Thailand and are ready to provide consular support.’
It is also understood that officials linked with Thailand’s tourism agencies were sent to Kanchanaburi as news of the incident spread worldwide given the violent nature of the attack.