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Thailand attack: British family 'vow never to return' after savage street attack that them all knocked out

Mirror Mirror 29/04/2016 By Gemma Mullin

© Provided by Mirror The son of a British family brutally beaten while on holiday in Thailand has vowed never to return to the country after their horrifying ordeal.

Lewis Owen, his mother Rosemary, 65, and 68-year-old father, also called Lewis, were out celebrating Lewis senior’s birthday when they were set upon by at least six people.

Police refused to show the family the CCTV footage of the shocking attack, which happened as the family made their way home after visiting a bar in the beach resort of Hua Hin, because it was 'too violent'.

The video was later posted online by officers in a bid to trace the suspects - and Thai police say they have arrested six people.

Lewis, a graphic designer who lives in Singapore and only sees his parents twice a year, said: "I’m not going back to Thailand again.

“Mum and dad won’t be either. Never, ever again.”

Mr and Mrs Owen, from Wenvoe in the Vale of Glamorgan, are expected to return to the UK next week while Lewis has returned to Singapore.

Lewis said: “My mum and dad are on the mend so it is all okay.

“Dad had six stitches in his forehead and there is some heavy bruising and he had two black eyes.

“They were a bit worried about my mum but she is okay. The swelling was not going down on her brain but they have done some operations.”

He continued: "Mum and dad have been going to Thailand for a long time. I don’t get to see them very often, I see them at Christmas and at my dad’s birthday.”

Lewis said he only got to see the full extent of the attack, on April 13, when he watched the video on Thursday morning.

The assault was caught on CCTV and the footage has since gone global.

Lewis said: “The police would not let me watch the video because it was too violent.

“I watched it today and it is horrendous.

“I have been speaking to my mum and dad every day. I did not realise how badly we were beaten up.

“We were all unconscious. My mum did not even realise she had been kicked in the face. I did not know my head had been stamped on.

“It was just out of the blue. None of us were drunk – we had just had a merry night and were going home.”

The video shows the three being punched to the ground. They are then repeatedly kicked and stamped on as they lie helpless.

At the end of the video one of the group aims a kick at Mrs Owen’s lifted head sending it smashing into the ground.

“We had never seen the guys before we left the bar we were in,” Lewis said.

“I do not remember much because I was knocked unconscious and there were stitches in my head. “We were lucky because it was all caught on CCTV.”

The streets were busy because people were out celebrating Thai New Year, which is on April 13.

“We were in a bar on that street,” Lewis said.

“I was just walking my mum and dad home when we were set upon.”

“I had 16 stitches in my head in three areas – six then another six and four,” Lewis said.

“They were above my hairline and down the side of my head and on the back of my head.

“Because it’s above my hairline it is not too bad, I have still got a bit of hair. They had to shave my hair off to stitch it up.”

Lewis said he was not sure why they were attacked.

“I didn’t know them, it was just random,” he said.

“My mum and dad are quite old and they kicked her in the head and punched him.”

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The couple’s neighbour, John Miles, 65, said he learned about the attack in the newspaper.

“I later saw Rose and Lew’s daughter in the village - who told me that it was her mum, dad and brother who had been attacked.

“It came as a big shock. She said she hadn’t slept all night and looked so worried. It must be hell for her knowing this has happened and being on the other side of the world.

“It is dreadful what has happened.

“Lew and Rose are really well-liked people and everyone is thinking of them. I don’t know how they are doing, but when they come back I know that everyone will do whatever they can to help.”

Prof Miles, a retired lecturer at Cardiff University, said the couple often go to Thailand to visit friends and their son had flown out from Singapore to meet them.

“Lew and Rose are a really lovely couple and very hard-working,” he said.

“They all know the lay of the land there and the local customs.

“They are genuinely lovely people, I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to hurt them.”

A spokesman for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said Royal Thai Police arrested six people and charged them with grievous assault on April 17.

He said: “An investigation is in process and the suspects will soon be under the jurisdiction of the court. If found guilty, the perpetrators of this incident will face full justice under Thai law.

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand would like to express our deepest sorrow to the family who were subjected to the assault in Hua Hin during the Songkran celebrations. We hope that you recover from your injuries and make a swift and full recovery.

“TAT would like to assure international travellers that this was an isolated incident, not targeted on any group of foreign tourists in particular. The situation was exacerbated by alcohol.”

Police spokesman Chaiyakorn Sriladecho said the attack started after “the son accidentally bumped into one of the Thai men”.

He told the Associated Press: “The men say they are sorry and that they wouldn’t have done this if they weren’t drunk.”

The father and son required stitches for head injuries, while the mother suffered serious head and eye injuries, Mr Chaiyakorn said.

The spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: “Our staff have been in contact with the family to offer assistance and will remain in contact with the local authorities.”

Suphatra Baithong and Yingyai Saengkham-in, both aged 32, and Siwa Noksri, 20, were captured within days of the assault while Chaiya Jaiboon, 20, was apprehended on Thursday. They are expected to appear in court before next week.

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