Mum of murder victim: ‘People think Thailand is paradise, but it has a sinister side’

It’s the exotic destination many young travellers flock to, attracted by the stunning scenery and thriving nightlife. But the horrific murder of two British backpackers last week proved Thailand has a darker side.


by Francine Anker |
Published on

Devastatingly, students Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found battered to death after attending a beach party on the idyllic island of Koh Tao.

Both had sustained horrific injuries and a bloodied garden hoe was found nearby.

Post-mortem tests suggested David tried to fight off his attackers before being battered around the head. Hannah’s body showed signs she'd had sexual relations before she died.

Two British men were questioned over the attack but released and Thai police are no closer to finding the suspect.

Hannah’s devastated family said: “She was selfless, caring and made each…day that little bit more wonderful. Our family are utterly devastated,” while David’s family added: “We all adored him. He will be sorely, sorely, missed.”

One mother who knows the torment the families are going through is Sue Jones, 57. Her daughter Kirsty, 23, was raped and strangled at a guesthouse in northern Thailand whilst on a dream trip around the world.

Tragically, fourteen years on, her attacker has never been caught.

Sue, who lives with her husband Glyn, 61, in Brecon Wales, is still struggling to pick up the pieces and wants to warn others about the dangers of the popular destination.

She says: “The pain of missing Kirsty never goes away. When I heard about these students being murdered it brought horrible memories flooding back. I saw their body bags being dragged up the beach and I felt sick to my stomach.

“Kirsty had always loved the idea of travelling and when I spoke to her it sounded like she was having the time of her life. People think Thailand is paradise, but it has a sinister side.”

Read the rest of Sue's moving story in Closer today

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