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Brit expat skull cracked for failing to pay Phuket bar bill

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Police are investigating an attack on a British man who is lying in a Phuket hospital with a fractured skull after allegedly being beaten with a baseball bat for not having enough cash to pay his drinking bill.

Christopher Stark, a 64-year-old English teacher at Phuket Montessori progressive school, told police that he was attacked by Sarawuth Kongphat, 37, at the Green Leaf Bar in Rawai at about 11pm last Thursday, after the man discovered that Mr Stark was short of cash to pay for the two drinks he had ordered.

“Mr Sarawuth confessed that he attacked Mr Stark because he failed to pay his bill. Even if Mr Stark does not file a formal complaint, we will pursue this case,” Lt Chollada Chokdeesrijun of the Chalong Police told the Phuket Gazette today.

Mr Stark said that he had not anticipated that there was going to be problem, as he was a regular at the bar.

“I didn’t think it was really a problem. A foreign lady involved in the bar is a friend of mine, and she agreed to lend me the money,” Mr Stark told the Gazette from his Vachira Phuket Hospital bed.

According to the Briton, Mr Sarawuth became enraged when he realized Mr Stark did not have enough money to pay his bill.

“He got really upset and pointed to a sign on the wall that said ‘No credit allowed’. We then had a bit of a face-off, but it was all verbal. I’m not the kind of guy who uses violence,” said Mr Stark.

“The staff member then disappeared and my friend [the foreign lady] told me he had gone to get a baseball bat and that I should leave quickly. I panicked and rushed outside to get on my motorbike, but I couldn’t find the key.”

Mr Stark said that Mr Sarawuth then came up from behind him and started beating him with the bat.

“I can’t remember clearly, it all happened so quickly. I think he hit me with the bat about four times and one of the blows was to my head,” Mr Stark explained with effort.

Despite the attack, Mr Stark said he remained conscious and remembers three policemen in uniform arriving at the bar to investigate.

“I was covered in blood… there were two regular cops and one more, but they didn’t show much interest and didn’t ask me any questions,” he said.

Shortly after, Mr Stark said what he believed to be an ambulance arrived and took him directly to Vachira Hospital.

Dr Piyaporn Songnatsiri, who examined Mr Stark, said that Mr Stark’s CAT scan showed bleeding on the brain.

“Mr Stark’s skull is fractured and the CAT scan shows he has a small hematoma under the depression at the back of his skull, so we have to keep him under observation,” she said.

Mr Stark is now recovering from the surgery to remove the blood clot.

“The doctor said that the swelling has gone down and that my condition is improving, but I might have to spend at least five to six more days in hospital,” Mr Stark said.

While Mr Stark is recovering, police are continuing their investigation.

“At this stage, we have yet to charge Mr Sarawuth,” Lt Chollada said.

However, Lt Chollada explained that she will visit Mr Stark again today to get a statement.

“We will see what he wants to do about the case. We met him before, but he could not really talk to us due to his condition,” she said.

— Renford Davies


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