Thai-Aussie couple survives fight with knife-wielding intruder

RAWAI: An Australian and his Thai girlfriend are both recovering from surgery at Bangkok Hospital Phuket after being attacked by a knife-wielding cat burglar in their home in Rawai early yesterday morning.

The Swiss-born Australian, a retired teacher who asked that his name and address not be published, said he and his girlfriend underwent surgery yesterday and were “slowly on the mend”.

“Somebody broke into the house – I don’t know how they got into the house – on Wednesday, between three and four in the morning,” the Aussie told the Gazette this afternoon in a telephone interview.

“We have two bedrooms. My girlfriend went to bed early and slept in one bedroom. Then I woke up and I could hear shouting. I thought maybe the television was on, but I couldn’t see any flickering.

“So I went out and I could see that the door was closed to the second bedroom. So I opened it and there was a man in a mask fighting with my girlfriend.  I jumped in, and that’s how it all got started. She got stabbed and I got stabbed.”

A second man spotted outside the home may have been serving as a “lookout” for the burglar, he said.

The Aussie was slashed four times and stabbed once in the stomach.

His girlfriend, who owns the home they share, was stabbed in the back of the head, punched repeatedly and slashed on one of her hands, he said.

From her hospital bed, the 35-year-old girlfriend told the Gazette she awoke when the attacker closed the bedroom door.

“We never close the doors when we sleep, so the sound of the door closing woke me. When I tried to scream, the attacker put his hand over my mouth and held a box-cutter to my throat and punched me in the stomach,” she said.

The knife cut her neck open, but no major arteries were severed and she is recovering well, though she is still in a great deal of pain in the neck and stomach, she said.

“This is the first time anything like this has happened at my home and we have never had any conflicts with anyone before,” she added.

Doctors at the hospital said the couple could be released as early as tomorrow, her boyfriend said.

The Gazette has thus far been unable to confirm with Chalong Police that evidence collected at the scene included skin tissue of the attacker and his shoes, as reported in a Thai-language newspaper.

One officer was quoted in that report as saying that police believe the attacker was “probably a local youth looking for things to steal”.

Investigators were hard at work trying to track him down because the incident could have a bad effect on tourist confidence, the officer was quoted as saying.

However, Chalong Police Duty Officer Thienchai Duangsuwan, who arrived at the crime scene at about 5 am, told the Gazette that evidence from the scene included a fake gun, the cutter used to slice the victim’s throat and the balaclava the intruder was wearing.

As nothing was taken by the intruder, police now suspect the attack might not have been a simple case of a bungled robbery, so they will investigate other motives, he said.

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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