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Thai Policeman Surrenders, Admits Killing Britons

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So I lost my temper and shot him. I think I fired all five bullets in my pistol’s chamber,.
And he apologised to Vanessa Arscott’s parents for killing the 24 –year-old from Ashburton, also Devon. He said her death was an accident: “I meant to kill the man, but I accidentally hit her.
After dragging her body for about 660 feet, he stopped his car and shot her in his panic to escape, he said.

you couldn't make this up if you tried.

he deserves nothing less than life imprisonment for this , so he will have plenty of time to ponder the error of his ways , but something tells me he will get off lightly.

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....Police immediately took handcuffed Somchai back to the restaurant to re-enact the killings – normal practice in Thailand....

Does this mean he'll get his sentenced halved?

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Thai policeman admits killing backpackers

By Sebastien Berger in Kanchanaburi

(Filed: 08/10/2004)

A police sergeant who admitted killing two British backpackers in Thailand surrendered yesterday after a month on the run.

Somchai Visetsingha confessed to killing Adam Lloyd, 25, deliberately, but claimed that he shot Vanessa Arscott, 24, three times by accident.

He handed himself in to his former colleagues at Three Pagodas Pass, on the Thai-Burmese border, and was taken to Kanchanaburi, where the killings happened, for interrogation.

"I admit to shooting Adam because I had been hurt by him very badly; I didn't intend to shoot Vanessa," he said, sitting in handcuffs in the police station where he once worked.

He claimed that Mr Lloyd, from Torquay, and Miss Arscott, from Ashburton, Devon, had had a row in the restaurant that he owns in Kanchanaburi, a popular backpackers' destination at the site of the Bridge on the River Kwai, and that he had intervened.

"I shot Adam because he spat in my face. It's a very bad insult. That's why I could not stand for it. If you were in my place you would do the same thing."

However, his account of the incident is dramatically different to those of other witnesses.

The killings were deeply embarrassing to the Thai authorities. Somchai was able to seek treatment in hospital and obtain money from his wife before disappearing into the thick jungles of the hilly border region, where he is believed to have been given refuge by guerrilla groups.

His surrender yesterday coincided with a visit to the town by British Embassy officials for a progress report on the investigation.

Somchai, 39, said: "I apologise to the parents of Vanessa, I didn't intend to hurt her." He offered no apology to Mr Lloyd's family.

He claimed that Miss Arscott had left his S&S restaurant after the row. When Mr Lloyd followed her, Somchai offered him a lift. After they caught up with Miss Arscott the argument continued, he said.

Somchai and Mr Lloyd then came to blows, which left the restaurant owner beaten and lying on the ground, he claimed. "Even though I told Adam I am police he didn't stop."

Somchai got back into his car, followed the couple, and fired five rounds at Mr Lloyd as the pair stood next to each other at the roadside, he claimed. Only two of the rounds hit their target.

However, other witnesses say Somchai had a row with Mr Lloyd in the restaurant and left to fetch his handgun. He killed Mr Lloyd in the street and ran down Miss Arscott as she fled, before coldly shooting her three times.

Somchai is known as a womaniser and according to some accounts had tried to force Miss Arscott into his car before Mr Lloyd intervened.

After his public confession Somchai was taken to the scene to re-enact his version of events. He appealed to the crowd of onlookers to back up his account.

Moments later he pointed a toy pistol out of his car window at a Thai policeman and policewoman playing the roles of his victims.

Police Maj-Gen Chokdee Arnupappecha, the deputy commander of the regional police, said Somchai faced a possible death penalty.

"I convinced him [to surrender] by telling him what would be good for him. I told him that if he confessed that would help him in court."

He said no deal had been made with the wanted man. However, it is believed that the guerrilla groups who may have been sheltering him were put under pressure by the Burmese and Thai governments to hand him over.

A British Embassy spokesman welcomed Somchai's arrest and praised the Thai police's efforts, playing down earlier events. "We always realised that it was going to be a difficult case because he is a trained policeman and he knows how to evade a police investigation," he said.

Mr Lloyd's brother Matthew said yesterday in a statement: "On behalf of the family I would like to thank the Thai authorities for all the efforts they have made.

"As you can imagine it has been a very difficult time for us in coming to terms with our loss, particularly while the suspect was still on the run.

"It was a great relief this morning to hear that he had finally been captured. I now hope there can be a swift trial and a quick result."

Miss Arscott's family said: "We know that the Thai authorities, particularly their police, have been working very hard over the past month.

"All we want now is justice for our darling Vanessa and also dear Adam and we have respect and confidence in the Thai justice system."

Miss Arscott's family also expressed their "heartfelt thanks to everyone who has written the most touching letters and cards, including complete strangers".

- Daily Telegraph

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However, other witnesses say Somchai had a row with Mr Lloyd in the restaurant and left to fetch his handgun. He killed Mr Lloyd in the street and ran down Miss Arscott as she fled, before coldly shooting her three times.

This sounds more likely

Somchai is known as a womaniser and according to some accounts had tried to force Miss Arscott into his car before Mr Lloyd intervened.

This also sounds more in character with policeman

It now appears that the boyfriend was saving his girlfriend form this idiot trying to "abduct" her.

After his public confession Somchai was taken to the scene to re-enact his version of events. He appealed to the crowd of onlookers to back up his account.

"Lie for me. Lie for me. They want to jail me for shooting the farang."

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That swarmy looking cop probably told that Englishmen that he wanted to boink his woman. This cop probably extorted sex from a few backpackers in his career, probably both male and female. I am sure it was a well deserved ass wooping, but if this guy was from NYC he'd know that there is nothing more dangerous than a drunk cop, because they all have guns, and attitude. Kicking a cops (and a drunk one) ass in Thailand is like calling a US Black Gang Member the "N' word in front of his crew. It is suicide. The guy is armed, in pain and just lost a whole lot of face. Remember when you run from a gun to do so in a zig-zag fashion, or better to turn sideways and run laterally from the line of fire. Better to just avoid any friendly advances from any Thai male. "No poot passat Angrit"

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I am in an internet shop in Isarn and the local kids were talking about the cop. They seem to think it is funny!

I asked if the guy is a good man or a bad man and the tennage boy next to me replied, "I don't know". Seem like another day in the line of duty for a drunken Thai copper.

Drinking over hours, driving drunk, MURDER.

I heard that the cop tried to abduct the girl, the guy tried to stop him and got shot.

he will probably get a light sentence, only a farang.

A farang killing a Thai, a very different story. One guy I know was nearly killed himself in police custody just after allegedly killing a Thai 3 years ago.

he was outmatched, so he shot them," Chaiyan said.

An armed cop against an unarmed pair of tourists????????

Lying bastard.

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If he was a policeman he should have known how to deal with the situation... i mean spitting in someones face is assault he could of just arrested the couple he didnt have to kill them. I hope there are not too many more Police like this guy. I think they will make an example of him.. but you never know. I thought O.J. was guilty also.

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:o Truly sad excuses and typical Cover you ARSE reasoning... Hey, that MP DH son can have his foot stepped on.. (as reported) so someone spitting in the face.. SHHHRREE RIGHT.. This will only infuse more anger, confusion, and headshaking as Ministry of Tourist try to spin this.

And really it is too bad.. because some to those tourist policemen actually, do a good job.

So we shall sit back and watch the festival unfold... the the Thai MPers....will feel justified...and edit the book for visitor to Thailand..

YET abroad.. Thais do not have the same... how shall we say.. acceptance..

PAYBACK is comming... :D

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“I meant to kill the man, but I accidentally hit her.

“I feel devastated that my good intention has turned out like this,” Somchai said.

Oh thats ok then. He had good intentions and didnt mean to shoot anyone or run them over and drag them underneath his car.

Settles it for me. Not guilty.

The Daily Record has slightly different version. Seems like the so called foreign correspondents from the papers are just cutting and pasting from Reuters and AP etc and putting their own byline on it.

Daily Record

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‘He spat at me . . . I was dishonoured’

A runaway police officer who had gone into hiding for more than one month surrendered yesterday and pled guilty to killing two British tourists, one in a fit of rage and the other by accident.

Senior Sgt-Major Somchai Wisetsing was accused of shooting Adam Lloyd, 25, and then running down his girlfriend, 24-year-old Vanessa Arscott, and shooting her dead on September 9.

“I was so shocked that I fled to find time to think,” the law enforcer-turned suspect said yesterday.

Somchai, a Kanchanaburi policeman, claimed that he just intended to stop Lloyd and his girlfriend from quarrelling.

According to the suspect, his victims were already arguing when they entered his restaurant and continued to do so for the entire time they were having drinks.

He insisted that he did not know the couple before, refuting speculation that a love triangle might have been the motive for the murders. Some earlier reports said that Somchai had been drinking with them prior to the crime.

“I didn’t know what they were quarrelling about because I had many other customers to take care of, but when I was about to go home, I noticed that they were still arguing outside my restaurant,” Somchai said.

He claimed he then decided to present himself as a police officer in the hopes of ending their dispute.

“But the man punched and kicked me,” he said, adding that he suffered a broken nose and cracked rib in Lloyd’s alleged assault.

Somchai said he ran around his car in an attempt to get away from Lloyd.

“The man came at me and spat in my face. That was the last straw. I was dishonoured,” he said.

Somchai said he drew his gun and fired at Lloyd until his bullets ran out.

“I reckon that some strays hit the woman too but I didn’t notice that her body was dragged along by my car when I sped away from the scene,” Somchai said.

Following the attacks, the runaway police officer fled into Burma. He later contacted lawyer Somsak Toraksa, one of his acquaintances, to arrange his surrender.

An investigator, who asked not to be named, said Somchai was able to live with Karen soldiers in Burma thanks to assistance from an influential person’s son.

“When he contacted me, I persuaded him to surrender for the sake of our country’s reputation,” Somsak said.

Somchai yesterday showed up at the border at Three Pagodas Pass in Sangkhla Buri district, and was picked up by police officers accompanied by Somsak at 6.45am.

The suspect was interrogated until 8am, after which he met with reporters. He later flew on a military helicopter to a main police station in Muang district.

Provincial Police Region 7 deputy commissioner Maj-General Chalong Sonjai said Somchai’s crimes had damaged the country’s reputation but his surrender would heal the wound somewhat.

“He will face further investigations,” he said.

British Embassy charge d'affaires Andy Pearce was reportedly present during Somchai’s interrogation.

“We thank all our Thai friends who were involved with this case who gave their full support and cooperation, including the Thai prime minister and the Foreign Ministry who paid full attention to it,” said Pearce.

On Monday, a senior police officer disclosed that the British ambassador would visit Kanchanaburi this week for an update on the manhunt for Somchai.

Kanchanaburi Governor Cherdwit Ritprasart yesterday said relevant officials were doing everything to ensure safety in the province. “Tourists can visit our province safely. Don’t be worried,” he said. The province is a popular tourist destination.

Meanwhile, Tourism Police Commander Maj-General Phanya Mamen expressed doubts about Somchai’s version of the story.

“We know Somchai was very drunk that night,” Phanya said, referring to a blood test administered to Somchai at a hospital he visited after his beating.

Sorawut Jongsakul

The Nation


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As to 'spitting in the face of a policeman', it is likely that the Brit man did not know that he was facing a policeman. It was early hours of the morning in the accused restaurant. I would think that he was wearing typical of duty policemans leisure wear, probably a T shirt with 'POLICE' emblazoned upon it!

If the guy was off duty then he wouldnt have been wearing a tshirt with POLICE on it. It would have been a plain white t shirt.

Even so, if a person was just wearing brown trousers and a plain white shirt with POLICE on it, a regular tourist would more likely to associate that with the POLICE fashion brand rather than a policeman.

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