British man who went ‘missing’ in Pattaya found to be in jail in UK on rape charges
Expats living in Pattaya concerned for the welfare of a British man who went ‘missing’ there were shocked to discover he is actually serving time in jail in the UK on child abuse charges.
It was initially believed that John Stageman, 74, may have been involved in some kind of accident or even died after suddenly disappearing in Pattaya more than one year ago.
The mystery surrounding Stageman’s whereabouts intensified last month when his restaurant named Starlight located in East Pattaya suddenly closed.
Trying to find answers, expats who knew Stageman contacted Thaivisa for further information, however, they were shocked to discover that he was serving an 18 year jail sentence for rape after being convicted in a court in the UK in October 2016.
The rape of the girl, who was just 7 years old at the time, took place during the 1980s at a guesthouse in Kent, England, which Stageman was running.
Years later he raped the victim again when she was an adult, only for her to become pregnant and not know if her husband or Stageman was the father. The woman later suffered a miscarriage.
Charges were first brought against him in 2005 but he was deemed unfit to stand trial.
However, when Stageman became aware of a second investigation in 2013 he fled to Thailand to escape arrest.
Stageman had been living in Pattaya, where he is still believed to own numerous properties.
Stageman was finally caught by the Thai authorities after a routine check on his immigration status found that he had overstayed his permission to remain in Thailand.
Having been made aware of the charges against him, the Thai authorities handed him over to the UK’s National Crime Agency. He later stood trial and was found guilty of all charges.
He is currently serving 18 years in jail and can not apply for parole until he is 86.
Source: Thai Visa