PHUKET CITY: Phuket City Police are investigating the death of an inmate who died on the way to hospital yesterday afternoon after suffering blows to the head and body with a heavy object.
Phuket Provincial Prison Director Paisal Suwanraksa has confirmed that the victim was 38-year-old Sakulthep Konkaew, a Chiang Rai native who last year began serving a two-and-a-half year sentence after being convicted on theft and fraud charges.
About 3:30 pm yesterday K. Sakulthep was rushed by prison officials to Vachira Phuket, but died en route. His corpse showed signs of having suffered a heavy blow at the base of the right ear, along with bruising to his arms and torso.
K. Paisal, who was in Bangkok at the time, said a full investigation would be conducted.
“As I wasn’t here yesterday I don’t know exactly what happened, but the case is now under investigation by the police. Whoever is found responsible, whether they be inmates or members of my staff, will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” he said.
A report of the death was filed with the governor’s office yesterday, as is required for all deaths that occur on state property.
As recently reported in the Gazette, the 105-year-old prison is badly overcrowded with a population of over 1,060 inmates – about 300 more than its maximum capacity. However, current laws prohibit the prison from refusing any convicts sentenced there by the court.
Phuket also maintains a minimum-security prison on 104 rai of land in Tambon Srisoonthorn, Thalang.
Requests for a 400-million-baht budget to build a modern prison at the site have been denied by the Department of Corrections three years in a row.
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