Friday, 29 April 2016

4/29/2016 03:10:00 am
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‘We’re NEVER going back to Thailand’: Son who was brutally beaten unconscious with his elderly parents in street attack tells of his shock at watching the ‘horrendous’ CCTV

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
*Family of British tourists left knocked out cold in vicious attack in Thailand

*Rose and Lewis Owen were spending a month with son, also Lewis, when they were brutally attacked on Wednesday in popular Thai resort

*Police reveal that the family's son had bumped into a drunken local thug

*More yobs arrived and attacked the tourists despite pleas from the father

*Do you know the family or witness the incident? Call 020 3615 1924 or email flora.drury@mailonline.co.uk

A son beaten unconscious during a brutal attack in Thailand along with his elderly parents has vowed never to return to the south east Asian country.

Lewis Owen, 43, and his father, also Lewis, 68, and mother Rosemary, 65, were beaten up during the attack by at least six people.

The family were on holiday on the beach resort of Hua Hin when they were attacked. Mr Owen, who works as a graphic designer in Singapore said neither he nor his elderly parents from Wales would ever return to Thailand.


Hopsitalised: Rose Owen and her businessman husband Lewis were were set upon after their son, also called Lewis, spilled one of the gang's drinks. This photo, released by the Thai tourist board, shows Mrs Owen in hospital following the April 13 assault


Holiday: The grandparents were on a month-long holiday in Thailand when their dream trip turned into a nightmare, after the couple were viciously attacked by a gang of drunken thugs


Injured: Mrs Owen - pictured on holiday in the country last year - is understood to still be recovering in hospital, having suffered head injuries. The couple have been visiting the country since the 80s


Horror: The early morning attack happened in the popular tourist resort of Hua Hin, where the family from Wales were celebrating Thai New Year. Pictured: Mr Lewis, who runs an engineering company in Cardiff

Mr Owen told The Mirror: 'I’m not going back to Thailand again. Mum and dad won’t be either. Never, ever again.

'My mum and dad are on the mend so it is all okay. Dad had six stitches in his forehead and there is some heavy bruising and he had two black eyes. They were a bit worried about my mum but she is okay. The swelling was not going down on her brain but they have done some operations.

He added: 'Mum and dad have been going to Thailand for a long time. I don’t get to see them very often, I see them at Christmas and at my dad’s birthday.'

Mr Owen said he hand his parents were walking along the street when they were attacked. He said the CCTV footage of the assault was so violent that police would not let them look at it.

He said he suffered 16 stitches, but luckily all of the damage was above his hairline.

He said he believed the attacks were entirely random.

First, the men pushed graphic designer Lewis to the ground, while his mother, 68, tries to reason with them, before slapping one man - seconds before her husband is punched by a man who runs up to him, seemingly in order to land a hit with the most force possible.

Mrs Owen then tries to escape the violence.

In the next moment, one of the men walks up to her, punching her so hard in the face the Welsh grandmother is sent flying to the floor, knocked unconscious.

As she lies unmoving on the ground, her husband and son are subjected to a barrage of punches and kicks.

Mrs Owen then comes around and props herself up, at which point her callous assailant walks over and kicks her so hard in the face her head snaps back, out cold once more.

By the time the men had finished their vicious attack, which happened at around 2am on Wednesday in the popular tourist resort of Hua Hin, all three Owens were lying on the floor.

The crowd which had stood by and watched the brutal beatings only daring to step forward once they were sure the gang had left.

The couple's daughter Ceri was visibly upset at her home in Barry, three miles from her parents country cottage, just outside of Cardiff.

Mother-of-two Ceri visited her parent's bungalow briefly yesterday and is helping to arrange early flights to get them home.

She said: 'My mum and dad are in hospital abroad, I'm too upset to say anything.'

A picture showing Mrs Owen with members of the Thai tourist board while recovering has been released to the local media, showing her badly damaged face.

It is believed Mrs Owen is still in hospital, recovering from the savage assault which left her with serious eye and head injuries, according to the police.


Beaten: The couple and their son Lewis, 43, were left knocked out cold and lying in the street during Thai New Year festivities in the popular resort of Hua Hin, after being attacked by a gang of local youths


Catalyst: The row appeared to start when Lewis, known as Blue to his friends, put his hand out and brushed a local man who had collided with him as they walked down the road


Hurt: The couple's grown up son can be seen clutching his head in agony in the left of this image, after he was pushed to the ground seconds after touching the man

In the leafy village of Wenvoe, five miles outside of Cardiff, neighbours are still in shock after seeing the footage of their friends being so horrifically attacked.

Dave Cannon, chairman of the village hall committee, a long-time friend who has been to Thailand with the couple, told MailOnline: 'I've been in touch with Lew by text after seeing the pictures of the attack.

'It was a hell of a shock to hear what happened to them.'

Friends revealed the couple had visited Thailand almost every year since falling in love with the country in the 80s.

And they are always in Thailand for the Songkran festival - which falls the same day as Mr Owen's birthday.

'They always go to the festival, it is a part of their holiday,' Mr Cannon, 71, told MailOnline.

We are still upset - they are just fabulous people, the best neighbours you could wish for.

Neighbour John Miles

'It is a family joke - Lew reckons the whole of Thailand is celebrating his birthday that day.

Mr Cannon has visited Thailand with the couple and was last in the country with them in 2007, from which he has a souvenir plate in his hallway with a picture of himself and Mr Owen taken as they were sitting in a boat on the way to the Floating Market near Bangkok.

He said: 'They love it out there. They used to travel around Vietnam Laos and Cambodia but they always return to Thailand, it's their favourite place.

'They go sightseeing and have made lots of friends over there.

'Their Thai friends bake a cake every year for Lew's birthday.'

Retired long distance lorry driver Mr Cannon lives half a mile from the Owens, added: 'They are lovely people, we've been friends for years.

'Their two children grew up here - everyone in the village knows them.'

Neighbours said they were due to return home next Tuesday but are now trying to get an earlier flight.


Birthday: The family always enjoyed spending Mr Owen's birthday in Thailand, as it coincided with the New Year celebrations. The family joked it was like the entire country came out to celebrate





Brutal: Mrs Owen was initially punched in the face, after trying to escape. When she came back around, one of the attackers walked over and kicked her hard in the face, knocking her out again


Attacked: Lewis, pictured, lives in Thailand, and his parents visit once a year - sometimes with friends


Break: Mr Owen runs a successful electrical engineering company in Cardiff

John Miles, who lives opposite, said: 'We heard about the attack and then bumped into their daughter in the village and she said it was Lewis and Rose.

'We are still upset - they are just fabulous people, the best neighbours you could wish for.

'Apparently the attack is on Youtube but I couldn't watch it.

'Their daughter said she had not slept after being told what happened to her family.'

Another neighbour said: 'They are lovely, law-abiding people, it's dreadful they got caught up in this.'

Today, the local police chief in Hua Hin and the head of the local tourist authority held a press conference, where they confirmed they had arrested two men - Suppata Baitong and Yingyai Sangkham, both aged 32 - in connection with the incident.

Chief Police Colonel Chaiyakorn Sriladecho explained that the younger Mr Owen accidentally bumped into Suppata, who had been drinking and responded by pushing him into a table.

Mr Owen then asked Suppata not to hurt his son, at which point it is alleged four other men turned up at the scene and assaulted the father, son and the mother.

Police added that the family had identified the arrested men, who had apologised to the victims for being drunk and that officers are still looking for the accomplices.


Arrested: Thai police parade the suspects Suppata Baitong and Yingyai Sangkham, both aged 32, who have been arrested in connection with the horrific assault


The small street lined with cafes and shops was full of people, out to celebrate the New Year Songkran festivities. In the left of this image, the father is seen helping son back to his feet

Colonel Sriladecho also added that the son suffered head injuries that required minor stitches with the father suffering a gash to his forehead and had eight stitches.

The mother is said to have suffered bruises to her chin and face and is still experiencing headaches which have kept her in hospital.

Police said the son has already left Thailand, while Mr and Mrs Owen are still in the country helping with the police investigation but will leave on Wednesday next week.

The news comes after a witness to the attack described how he tried to break up the fight but was also beaten so violently he now needs surgery.

A witness, calling himself 'Usual Suspect' on the Hua Hin internet forum, said a group of Thai youths had been looking for trouble in the area during the Songkran New Year water splashing holiday.

He claims he was walking with his wife and tried to intervene, pushing a youth away who was beating the woman, but was himself attacked and he now needs dental surgery due to his injuries.


Support: Villagers have spoken of their shock, and said their friends are 'lovely, law-abiding people'


The couple's daughter posted this picture to a friend during a recent trip to the country, apparently a message to a friend

He said: 'The girls in the bar I was in all night waved goodbye to two elderly customers and their son and my wife and I followed only seconds after them.

'Within 20-30 metres of leaving the bar the Thais were punching the 65-year-old lady in the face!!

'The elderly gentleman was down on the floor and their son was beaten very badly!

'At this point I caught up to the scene and pushed one of the youths away from the woman. I got severely punched and kicked for my troubles, but felt the need to protect this frail lady.'

He continued: 'Not one person (other than myself) came to aid these old folk and they ended up laid in the road bleeding..so if you're still out in the wee hours tonight please be alert.

'These pockets of youths were intent on causing harm, and did blend in with all others beforehand.

'The three of them are still hospitalised, and I will need cosmetic dental work done.'

The attack is believed to have happened outside Tina Bar and Mama Mia Bar along a bustling street called Soi Bintabaht, close to the Tourist Police Station.


This horrific image shows the moment the elderly woman was punched in the face (circled) during the fight, after she approached one of the gang members and appeared to try to reason with him


As the stunned woman tried to sit back up after being punched in the face, one of the attackers kicks her hard on the jaw knocking her unconscious (circled)

Police are using the CCTV footage from a camera at the entrance to a small street of bars called Soi Bintabaht in front of Wat Hua Hin to trace the attackers.

Anyone who has information about the attackers or who witnessed the incident, which took place in the early hours of April 13, is urged to contact officers at Hua Hin police station.

1 reacties:

  1. What bullshit ,this couple and their grown son started it, they were all hit by just the one man. Watched the video many times.

    ReplyDelete