A 23-year-old Thai man has been given the death sentence by the Chonburi court for the brutal rape and murder of a 27-year-old German tourist on the island of Koh Si Chang in April.
Ronakorn “Pon” Romreun will die for the crime after battering Mariam Beelte with wood and rocks and burying her corpse under stones in an effort at concealment.
The murder on April 7th shocked the small Koh Si Chang community that “Pon” was a part of. It also made international news around the world.
The court heard how Pon and Ms Beelte had encountered each other at the foot of a series of stone steps that led up to a site of the flag of Rama V on the holiday island.
She parked her rented motorcycle but rejected the Thai man’s approach after he bought her flowers. He followed her as she climbed the 360 steps.
Near the top and weakened by the climb she was attacked and raped by Pon on the steps. He then hit her with a piece of wood. She fought back and managed to try and flee down the steps.
He hit her with a rock on the head that caused her to fall.
He then turned her over and repeatedly smashed her head and face with rocks until she was dead.
He then dragged her into the undergrowth where he covered her with rocks.
The body was soon discovered and police made a quick arrest and Pon admitted the crime.
He was also high on drugs at the time of the rape and murder.
The court handed down the death sentence and ordered the seizure of rocks that were part of the evidence presented in the case.
Thaivisa notes that Thailand carried out its first execution of a prisoner on death row for nine years last June.
Teerasak Longji, 26, was killed by lethal injection at Bangkok’s Bang Kwang prison. He had been convicted of aggravated murder.
Officials were tight lipped at the time about the execution with anti-death penalty activists surprised by the move.
Many prisoners sit on death row but the penalty has rarely been carried out in recent years with the previous execution having been carried out in 2009.