Briton savagely beaten in Hua Hin works in S'pore, vows never to return to Thailand

Briton savagely beaten in Hua Hin works in S'pore, vows never to return to Thailand

Briton Lewis Owen, who was savagely beaten together with his parents in Hua Hin, reportedly works in Singapore as a graphic designer. And he has vowed never to return to Thailand after thugs assaulted him and his family.

He had joined his mum, Rosemary, and his businessman father, also named Lewis, to celebrate the latter's 68th birthday, which coincided with Thailand's Songkran holiday on April 13, reported EPA.

The 43-year-old graphic designer, who reportedly returned to Singapore after receiving treatment for his injuries on April 18, told The Mirror: "I'm not going back to Thailand again." "Mum and dad won't be either. Never, ever again," he added.

In a footage from a CCTV camera, Lewis is seen being pushed by a Thai man holding a beer bottle as he and his parents were making their way along a busy street. The man, who was arrested, told police Lewis had caused him to spill his drink after he brushed against him.

The video, which saw the Thai man and at least three others assaulting the family from Wales with such violence, had shocked and enraged Thais as well as people around the world. Many were especially concerned that Rosemary, a 65-year-old grandmother, was badly battered by the thugs despite her age.

She was punched hard in the face after she tried to reason with one attacker for pushing her son. Dazed from the blow, she tried to prop herself up but was kicked in the jaw area.

All three of them were so severely beaten that they were knocked unconscious.

Related: British family severely attacked in Hua Hin

Lewis shocked when he saw video

According to Thai police, Rosemary suffered severe bruising on her face and head. She had left the hospital while her husband and son were discharged earlier after treatment for head wounds.

Lewis said he had 16 stitches on his head in three areas while his father suffered two black eyes and received six stitches to the forehead.

Lewis was horrified when he finally got to watch the video on Thursday (April 28) morning. Describing the assaults as "horrendous", he told The Mirror: "I did not realise how badly we were beaten up.

"We were all unconscious. My mum did not even realise she had been kicked in the face. I did not know my head had been stamped on."

"It was just out of the blue. None of us were drunk - we had just had a merry night and were going home. We had never seen the guys before we left the bar we were in," he said.



The Owens also have a daughter, Ceri, who lives near her parents' country cottage, just outside of Cardiff. She told EPA: "I'm too upset to say anything. It was a hell of a shock to hear what happened to them."

The mother-of-two said she was helping to arrange flights to get her parents home. Sanook.com reported the Owens are due to fly home on May 3.

The court hearing is expected to be convened very soon so that they could testify. Friends of the Owens revealed the couple visited Thailand almost every year since falling in love with the country in the 1980s. And they would always be there for the Songkran festival, which falls on same day as Mr Owen's birthday, reported British media sites.

Yesterday (April 28), a photograph (first photo above) was released to local media showing Rosemary recovering in her hospital bed, pictured next to officials who are said to be from Thailand's tourism authority, reported ThaiVisa website.

Four arrested, charged with grievous assault

Thai police had arrested four suspects and charged them with grievous assault. The fourth and last suspect today expressed remorse for his action as he made an apology to the Owens and the people of Hua Hin, reported The Bangkok Post.

A spokesman for Tourism Authority of Thailand said: "The Tourism Authority of Thailand would like to express our deepest sorrow to the family who were subjected to the assault in Hua Hin during the Songkran celebrations. We hope that you recover from your injuries and make a swift and full recovery."

"TAT would like to assure international travellers that this was an isolated incident, not targeted on any group of foreign tourists in particular. The situation was exacerbated by alcohol."

Thai netizens,who expressed outrage over the incident, have called for a severe punishment for the thugs.

A TAT spokesman had told local media that the perpetrators will "face full justice under Thai law" if found guilty.

Lewis told The Mirror: "We were lucky because it was all caught on CCTV."

chenj@sph.com.sg

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