The two Thai men, who killed a 60-year old Australian travel agent from Western Australia, were sentenced to life imprisonment this week.
Perth travel agent Michelle Smith was stabbed in the heart after a failed purse-snatching attempt outside her hotel in Phuket in June.
The two Thai men aged 26 and 37 pleaded guilty and displayed no emotion as the judge in Phuket Central Court handed down their sentences, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Both received life imprisonment, which in Thailand is the equivalent of 100 years.
Australia’s honorary consul in Phuket, Larry Cunningham applauded the Thai authorities’ speedy response and sentencing.
Mr Cunningham said criminal offences against thousands of Australian tourists had occurred in the past and little was done to bring the responsible parties to justice.
“The major problem has always been the application of the law in Phuket where assaults continue unabated virtually every night and there are little or no arrests of the guilty parties, mainly because they have patronage protection,” he said.
Mr Cunningham said he hoped the new convictions would set a precedent and send a warning to Phuket’s serial offenders.
Mr Cunningham was quick to reassure Australian’s that Phuket was still a safe, viable and “wonderful place to holiday where Australians come and enjoy the Thai hospitality”.
Had the two Thai men pleaded not guilty, they may have faced the death penalty if found guilty.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T