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No jail time for driver who killed German in road accident

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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No jail time for driver who killed German in road accident | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The driver of a car that killed a German man and severely injured his Thai partner in Kata last year will walk away without serving any jail time.

The dramatic court case over the death of Andreas Walter and the severe injury of his Thai partner Patcharin Lammai ended on October 6 at Phuket Provincial Court.

Jakarin Rodpradit, the driver of the vehicle that ran over Mr Walter after colliding with the couple while they were riding a motorcycle on the way to Kata from Chalong, was ordered by the court to pay a 7,500 baht fine and 1.8 million baht as compensation. He also received a two-year suspended jail sentence.

Mr Walter was 47 years old at the time of his death on December 3, 2015.

“I was conscious, but unable to move immediately after the accident. The driver didn’t stop; he kept trying to drive forward over the top of my boyfriend. I couldn’t do anything,” Ms Patcharin told the Phuket Gazette from her hospital bed several days after the incident.

Police took Mr Jakarin’s driving licence at the scene on December 3 and then allowed him to return to his vehicle and go on his way. They reportedly did not conduct a blood alcohol test.

However, Ms Patcharin alleged that Mr Jakarin told witnesses that he had in fact been drinking before the incident, but that he was not drunk.

In a subsequent interview with police on December 8, Mr Jakarin reportedly denied responsibility for the crash, telling police that Mr Walter was in fact the one driving recklessly and had cut him off.

About a week later, Ms Patcharin went to police with CCTV footage and eye witness statements in an effort to prove that Mr Jakarin was at fault. When faced with the new evidence, Mr Jakarin confessed and was charged with reckless driving causing death and injury without stopping and assisting the victims as well as property damage.

He was subsequently released on bail.

“I want this case to serve as an example to everyone that people cannot be killed on the roads by reckless driving without the perpetrator facing serious consequences,” Ms Patcharin said.

“If it was a normal crash, and the man had stopped, Andreas might still be alive. Maybe he just thought that I was some bar girl with a tourist, so he didn’t care.”

Relatives of Mr Walter in Germany hired a lawyer to fight the case for them, demanding 1.3 million baht in compensation for Mr Walter’s death. Ms Patcharin also demanded 800,000 baht compensation for her injuries.

Mr Jakarin requested a period of one month to consider the demands. A final settlement was then reached to compensate Mr Walter’s relatives in Germany with a 1.3 million baht payout and 500,000 baht for Ms Patcharin.

“Mr Walter’s relatives received the full amount that they had demanded, but I reduced my demands because I just wanted things to end peacefully,” Ms Patcharin told the Gazette in the court room the day the trial concluded.

However, Ms Patcharin’s relatives said they were astounded at the final verdict, having expected a jail sentence of several years to be handed down to Mr Jakarin.

“Really, no jail time at all? He killed someone, albeit unintentionally, and seriously injured another. I can’t believe he only had to pay 7,500 baht and wasn’t locked up. A two-year suspended sentence is nothing. I don’t understand why,” Ms Patcharin exclaimed after the court’s verdict was read out.

“At least some prison time might have been appropriate. However, I respect the court’s judgment,” she said.

The lawyer representing Mr Walter’s German family said they would not appeal.

“The family has been awarded the compensation that they demanded. His mother is old, and travelling to Thailand just to pursue the case is not an option,” said the lawyer, who requested anonymity.

Ms Patcharin added that she also would not appeal, and instead would try to exercise forgiveness.

“The money cannot bring my partner back. Even so, I do not get any of this. It is all for his relatives in Germany. However, I am Buddhist so forgiveness is important,” she said.

“I hope this is at least an example that people cannot just get away with something that was their fault,” she added.

Ms Patcharin recounted that as well as initially denying being at fault, Mr Jakarin and his family claimed that she was just a bar girl.

“They looked down on me and said I was just trying to get money out of a foreigner’s death,” she said. “I don’t understand why Thai people look down on other Thais like this. That is why I used my own money to hire a lawyer and fight the case.”

“At least it has ended peacefully. Even if Mr Jakarin doesn’t serve any jail time, it will be a life lesson for him. He had to spend his time and money for his defense. I only hope he will be more responsible in future,” she said.

Upon conclusion of the court proceedings, Mr Jakarin expressed regret, as well as gratitude, that the case had concluded peacefully.

“I apologize for the loss. Although I don’t have to serve jail time, it has cost me a lot. I won’t easily forget,” he said.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Thai Vietjet resumes Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, launches promotion on air fare

The Thaiger

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Thai Vietjet resumes Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, launches promotion on air fare | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Vietjet

The following is a press release from Thai Vietjet on its new promotion “Welcome Back to the Sky” and the resumption of Phuket-Chiang Rai flights.

Thai Vietjet today announced the flight resumption of its domestic cross-regional service between Phuket – Chiang Rai, in response to the increasing travel demand after the government began relaxing travel measures in each province. The airline will resume the service for four (04) round-trip flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with the flight duration around 2 hours and 5 minutes, starting from 26 February 2021 onwards. The flight details are as follows:

Flight No.Departure from PhuketArrival at Chiang Rai Flight No. Departure from Chiang RaiArrival in Phuket
VZ4008:15am10:20amVZ40110:50am12:55pm

In addition, the airline also announced the resumption of other domestic cross-regional services including the flight between Hat Yai – Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai – Nakhon Si Thammarat from 19 March 2021 onwards.

Following the service resumption announcement, the airline launched special promotion “Welcome Back to the Sky”, offering special fares from just THB 99 (not inclusive of taxes, fees, surcharges, and add-ons) for Thai Vietjet’s flights between Phuket – Chiang Rai and the flights to/from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi). The special fares are available for booking from 24 – 28 February 2021, with travel period between 8 March – 30 June 2021 on SkyFUN.vietjetair.com

As the COVID-19 situation is under control, Thai Vietjet has been adding flight frequency in line with the increasing demand for travel. The airline has also recently introduced its new product on SkyFUN, the ‘TRIP EASY PLUS’ – travel insurance with coverage of COVID-19 starting from THB 180, which provides further convenience and travel confidence to passengers to travel with the highest level of safety during the pandemic. For more information, please visit https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/insurance.

The promotional fares are available on SkyFUN.vietjetair.com, applied to Thai Vietjet’s domestic flights in Thailand from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani, Hat Yai , Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani and the domestic cross-regional flight Phuket – Chiang Rai. The tickets are also available on all other distribution channels including www.vietjetair.com, mobile app “Vietjet Air”, via Facebook at facebook.com/VietJetThailand by clicking “Booking” tab, as well as travel agencies and booking offices. Payment can be easily made with ‘True Money Wallet’ and international debit/credit cards.

Thai Vietjet is committed to providing on time scheduled flights with the highest safety complied with the standards and regulations of the relevant authorities. Thai Vietjet was named the fastest growing low-cost airline in Thailand 2020 by The Global Business Outlook Award. The airline also owns one of the worlds newest and most modern fleet with an average age of only 2.7 years and was awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars by the world’s only safety and product rating website airlineratings.com. The carrier has been strictly performing aircraft disinfection dailythroughout its fleet in compliance with Thai Ministry of Public Health.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Maya Taylor

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4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says 4 of Thailand’s major tourism destinations are to be prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. In addition, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are being prioritised in the rollout of the first vaccine doses arriving in the Kingdom today.

Taweesin Visanuyothin from the CCSA says 70,000 doses will go to the hard-hit “highest control” area of Samut Sakhon, where Thailand’s second outbreak began late last year. 8,000 doses are being set aside for medical officials in the central province, along with 6,000 for frontline healthcare workers, 46,000 doses for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 doses for migrant workers and local residents.

Another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups in Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram and Samut Prakan, and in the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak.

The Pattaya News reports that 14,700 doses will be sent to 4 major tourist destinations, with 4,700 going to the eastern province of Chon Buri, 4,000 to the southern island of Phuket, 3,500 to the northern province of Chiang Mai, and 2,500 going to the island of Samui in the southern province of Surat Thani.

In the case of the vaccines going to tourism spots, it is not yet known which groups will be vaccinated first, with that decision being left to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and other related authorities.

Meanwhile, the CCSA says other plans for the 4 tourism destinations are being considered, including the possibility of “area quarantine”, which would allow vaccinated foreign arrivals to remain within certain boundaries during their quarantine period. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been pushing for a vaccine passport policy for vaccinated visitors, while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government may consider lifting quarantine restrictions for vaccinated tourists.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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