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

Kendra Wilkinson’s second trial in as many days didn’t go completely to plan.

Read more

Could Jake and Edwina be forming an unlikely romance? Or is there someone else after his heart…

Read more

It doesn’t get much more festive than posing with Santa and a dude in a reindeer costume.

Read more

Promotions

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need! We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time we’re offering up to 40% off.

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Quirky London