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Monk charged after novice, 9, dies from injuries

Monk charged: A senior monk in Kanchanaburi has been charged with assault resulting in death after a nine-year-old novice in his care succumbed on Sunday night to serious injuries that had put him in a coma.

 

Luangta Supachai Sutthiyano, 64, of Wat Don Khamin in Tha Maka district, who had already been disrobed following his arrest for assault earlier on Sunday, was booked on the more serious charge.

He told police the boy had often been “naughty and disobedient” since taking his novice vows in April. He admitted to beat the novice repeatedly with a thick wooden stick. Fellow novices said the latest incident included the boy being beaten with the stick, being forced to sit in a container of water and being violently pushed against a pillar, which gashed his chin and knocked him unconscious.

Suspecting he was feigning, the monk lifted the boy up and slammed him back onto the floor, resulting in serious head injury, they said.

The matter came to light when Wat Don Khamin Foundation volunteers directing funeral traffic at the temple on Saturday evening were asked to take the unconscious novice to hospital.

Told he’d suffered “a seizure from illness”, the volunteers noticed multiple bruises, the gash on his chin, a broken arm, and an apparent head injury that turned out to be masking an intracerebral haemorrhage.

Doctors at Makarak Hospital transferred him to intensive care at Paholpolpayuhasena Hospital in Muang district.

Look Kae police took Luangta Supachai in for questioning on Sunday, at which point he allegedly confessed.

A doctor’s statement detailing the fatal injuries is awaited so the prosecution can proceed.

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