PHUKET: Norwegian national Stein Harvard Dokset, a long-term Phuket expat, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Rungnapa Suktong.
The sentence, which was handed down this afternoon at Phuket Provincial Court, stipulates that Mr Dokset will serve 7.5 years for murder, six months for concealing the evidence of the crime and one year for illegal possession of a firearm.*
Mr Dokset was charged under Section 288 of the Thai Criminal Code, which could have seen him sentenced to death or 20 years in prison.
Though Mr Dokset confessed in 2012 to killing Ms Rungnapa, who was reported missing by her family in 2010, he has maintained that it was an accident brought on by a fit of jealous rage and that she hit her head as she tumbled down the stairs in his luxury villa in Kata (story here).
However, when police raided his home, they found her mostly decomposed remains in a trash bin in the basement.
DNA tests later confirmed the remains were that of Ms Rungnapa and forensics results indicated that a skull fragment found among the remains showed signs of having been hit with a hard object (story here).
Mr Dokset’s lawyer told the Phuket Gazette today that it had yet to be decided whether or not the decision would be appealed.
* The story originally stated Mr Dokset would serve one year for concealing the evidence of the crime and six months for illegal possession of a firearm. The error is regretted.
— Chutharat Plerin