London tourist shot dead at New Year’s Eve party in Thailand

21:20 01 January 2013

A tourist from south London has been gunned down at a New Year’s Eve party in Thailand after it is believed he was caught up in a gun fight between local gangs.

Stephen Ashton, 22, whose family lives in Purley, is said to have been killed as he danced with friends at a beach bar on the island of Koh Phangan.

He is thought to have been caught in the crossfire when a fight started between two local gangs at Haad Rin Beach.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the death of a British national in Thailand on New Year’s Eve and we are providing consular assistance to the family.”

Police Colonel Kittakarn Kramomthong, chief of Koh Phangan station, told the Bangkok Post that Mr Ashton was with a group of friends and 300 other tourists at the 2013 countdown party at a pub and restaurant called the Zoom Bar when he was shot by a home-made gun shortly after 4am.

The newspaper said Mr Ashton was visiting the island with four or five friends and was staying at Pink Bungalow on Haad Rin.

Tributes have been paid on social networking sites as friends expressed their shock at hearing the news.

Jaydon Gibbs said on Twitter: “My heart is with his family. The nicest guy RIP Stephen Ashton xx”

Another Twitter user, Dean DeRosa, said: “Worst news for the start of 2013 ! R.I.P Stephen Ashton ! Was a good lad !!”

Neighbour Dawn Mason, 48, described Mr Ashton as a “very normal, likeable young man”.

His family moved to Purley about three years ago, she said.

“They’ve always been very nice neighbours.

“If Stephen or his sister Emily had parties, they’d always be at the house with their parents so they knew where they were.

She added: “I went to the house today and the family just seem in complete shock.”

Mr Ashton’s mother, Diane, is flying back to the UK from a skiing trip following news of her son’s death, Ms Mason said.

Mr Ashton’s family said they were too distraught to speak tonight at their home.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Newlywed Alice Zhao created these amazing infographics charting her relationship with her husband.

Read more

Could William Shatner be returning as Captain Kirk in new the Star Trek movie?

Read more

27 important phrases you’ll need in Chelsea.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

From birds and insects to a frog, iguana and lions: the beautiful shots of the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition.

How does 3D gaming really affect video game aficionados?

It’s blown off course and back up the hill.

There’s not many worse places that you can mistake a bar for than a prison.

Quirky London