Patong assault victim dies

PATONG: Chatchai “Ghee” Ritchohor, 32, who fell into a coma after being head-butted by a foreign tourist in July last year, has died.

K. Ghee’s younger sister, K. Oranuch, said her brother died on Saturday of long-term complications from emergency brain surgery performed at Vachira Phuket Hospital after the assault, which caused his brain to hemorrhage and swell.

Doctors at Somdej Phryuparat Hospital in Thabor District, in K. Ghee’s native Nong Khai Province, listed the causes of death as Hepatitis B infection, pneumonia and peritonitis, she said.

The assault on K. Ghee, a former bartender at C&N Hotel, occurred after a darts match outside the Piccadilly Pub on Soi Kebsup.

Scotsman Tommy Hunter admitted to head-butting K. Ghee, but said in an email to the Gazette that he was acting in self-defense and that he hoped K. Ghee would recover.

Kathu Police police issued a warrant for Hunter’s arrest but by that time he had already left the country.

Although K. Ghee recovered partially following the surgery, and regained some ability to speak, he had suffered brain damage and was taken to Nong Khai to live with his family.

His body was cremated at a local temple yesterday, K. Oranuch said.

She added that she would try to travel to Phuket to notify Kathu Police of the death of her brother.

K. Ghee’s long-term partner Supin Rueang-alam, who still lives in Patong, would be unable to notify police because the couple were never married, she added.

Pol Lt Pateuang Fonmanat of Kathu Police Station told the Gazette today that he was unaware of K. Ghee’s death.

He added, “Hunter faces a charge of committing bodily harm but if the victim’s relative report [K. Ghee’s death] to us and there is medical evidence that he died as a result of that bodily harm, we can amend the charge [to manslaughter].”

He added that police believe Hunter remains outside Thailand and that he is on the Immigration black list.

Phuket News

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