Man arrested after British tourist shot dead in Thailand

07:26 02 January 2013

A man has been arrested following the fatal shooting of a British tourist at a New Year’s Eve party in Thailand.

Stephen Ashton, 22, from Purley, south London, is said to have been killed by a stray bullet as he danced with friends at a beach bar on the paradise island of Koh Phangan.

Police Colonel Kittakarn Kramomthong, chief of police at the island’s station, said officers had arrested a 26-year-old Thai man and confiscated a gun.

The man is expected to be charged with manslaughter, he said.

It was reported that Mr Ashton’s family had travelled to Thailand and were on the way to Ko Phangan to formally identify his body and make arrangements for his repatriation.

Thai police said Mr Ashton was with a group of friends and 300 other tourists celebrating the countdown to 2013 at a pub and restaurant called the Zoom Bar when he was shot by a home-made gun at Haad Rin beach shortly after 4am yesterday.

The Bangkok Post said he was visiting the island with four or five friends and was staying at Pink Bungalow on Haad Rin.

Confirming the identity of the victim, 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.”

Friends expressed their shock at Mr Ashton’s death and paid tribute to him on social networking sites.

Aaron Kelly wrote on Facebook: “Horrible news. Be good up there mate.”

Robbie-Cameron Gray took to Mr Ashton’s Facebook page to express his grief and posted a photograph of the two of them as young boys.

He said: “Don’t want to believe it. Still got photos of us on my wall from football and school. Will miss you mate.”

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

The tropical island of Koh Phangan, situated north of tourist haven Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, is a popular destination for backpackers and students on gap years.

One of the attractions of the island is its monthly full moon party at Haad Rin Beach, and many people know it as the setting for Alex Garland’s novel The Beach, which was made into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Crisis averted! But not until after an animal rescue officer was called in to investigate.

Read more

You always have to look up to everyone else. Literally.

Read more

No, us neither – but best-selling author Patrick Woodhead has.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

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!

Crisis averted! But not until after an animal rescue officer was called in to investigate.

Now experts have been called in to help it get back to water.

From the Earth’s elliptical orbit to the scheduling of Christmas, the winter solstice is as scientifically complex as it is culturally significant.

The introduction of the Genomic Medicine Centres is seen a a genetic revolution in the NHS, but why?

Quirky London