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British knife attack victims Jack Cole and April Clifton today on Phuket

Krabi Gang Knife Attack 'No Misunderstanding'

Friday, October 26, 2012
PHUKET: British tourists will tell Krabi police later today that they reject any suggestion that an attack by a knife-wielding gang came because of ''a misunderstanding.''

Police officers have been using that phrase in explaining to the media the reason for the attack on Jack Cole and April Clifton, both 21, at a holiday destination in the province of Krabi on Monday night.

''We were strolling back to the pier after dinner in Ao Nang to catch a boat to our resort when we were attacked,'' Ms Clifton told Phuketwan today.

She was speaking at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where Mr Cole is being treated for half a dozen stab wounds and a vicious long slash to the temple. The cut was probably inflicted by a machete.

The couple from Bath, enjoying a long-awaited ''holiday in paradise,'' have yet to give their version of events to Krabi police.

Officers have travelled from the neighboring province to Phuket and will interview the British couple this afternoon.

When Phuketwan called the investigating officer in Krabi this morning, he described the attack as the result of ''a misunderstanding.''

At the hospital in Phuket City a little later, Ms Clifton rejected any ''misunderstanding'' and supported Mr Cole's account when she spoke to Phuketwan.

''There was no misunderstanding,'' she said. ''We were ambushed and in fear of our lives. Jack was almost killed. This was not a misunderstanding.''

Mr Cole told Phuketwan last night in a graphic account that the attack came out of the blue and that he fought off the six or seven attackers because he feared the gang - mostly young men with perhaps two of them female - was intent on raping Ms Clifton.

''All I can do is guess what they wanted,'' Mr Cole said. ''But they did not want my wallet.''

Only after Mr Cole had fought off the gang did he discover he had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely. Ms Clifton also suffered bruising.

Another British man, an expat resident having a drink at a nearby bar, came to the couple's rescue, staunched the blood flow and probably saved Mr Cole's life.

Ms Clifton and her father Clive, who quickly flew to Phuket to help, went to Krabi yesterday to lodge a police statement so that the outcome of the attack will be covered by insurance.

Last night Mr Cole told Phuketwan ''I wouldn't like this to happen to anyone else. If I can help to prevent that, I would be prepared to stay for an extra few days.''

Mr Cole would probably need to give sworn evidence before a judge in a court so that the case against his assailants could be pursued after he and Ms Clifton return to Britain.

Three of the alleged attackers are believed to have been arrested in Krabi.

However, with police telling the media that the savage attack was the result of a ''misunderstanding'' before interviewing the victims, the British embassy and other envoys probably will remain alarmed at the potential for future attacks.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


That's one heck of a misunderstanding.

"Sorry, we meant to slice up someone else" ?

" Sorry, we thought you'd be easier prey " ?

Oh well, an influential person just recently shot his ex wife dead at a restaurant. Just a common accident and misunderstaning, i.e. failing to understand shooting at someone will likely kill that person.

Nice to see the unbiased Thai police making apologist statements in defence of the Thai suspects when the victim/s is/are foreigners, which they have not even spoken with yet.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

No amount of CCTV cameras, safety zone declarations or other window dressing is going to make one iota of difference until the biased attitude of the Thai police force and general public changes to protecting and investigating everyone regardless of their nationality on equal terms.

Posted by Andrew on October 26, 2012 12:35


Even at the remotest chance it was a "misunderstanding" why are all the children carrying knives and machetes?

The only reason people carry weapons is to cause harm to other people. THE END...

I agree with you 100% Andrew

Posted by Tbs on October 26, 2012 13:56



very well said. Spot on!!!

Posted by Billy on October 26, 2012 14:21


this time its a knife, NEXT TIME ITS A GUN......... Oh, sorry .... Its a misunderstanding that i kill you....

Posted by rwpsundco on October 26, 2012 15:40


Well said Andrew -

"No amount of CCTV cameras, safety zone declarations or other window dressing is going to make one iota of difference until the biased attitude of the Thai police force and general public changes to protecting and investigating everyone regardless of their nationality on equal terms."

Posted by Clean up on October 26, 2012 15:50


Ed, also your opinion about Thai tourist destinations safety and your comments are the result of a "missunderstanding "!
You don't know Thais and Thailand at all!!!
Why don't you send an email to Mr. Cole and say " Don't worry the boys and girls missunderstood. "
Meanwhile you have to sent another email to the Chinese ambassador, who claimed, to the Governor, more safety for tourist on Phuket!?!
Staying long hours in front of the computer, may be you have lost the sense of Phuket reality!?!

Posted by Coralie on October 26, 2012 18:04

Editor Comment:

You seem to confuse Krabi with Phuket, Coralie, just as you confuse real life with your own homemade mightmares. I use the term mightmare - not nightmare - because it's all in your dreams, nobody else's. I talked at length in person with Mr Cole, no need to send him an email. he knows that what happened to him in Krabi - not on Phuket - could have happened anywhere. And the Chinese Consul, who keeps a record of these things, says this year has been safer. Who do we believe, real people or poor, scared Coralie's mightmare, where Phuket is in Krabi? The real nightmare remains your bigotry.


Good, he is well as can be. What a nightmare for them to happen.

He fought of 5-7 males with knifes single handedly. Well I guess, they let go. No burglary, maybe some gang test of courage. Maybe just some act of random violence by bored boys on bikes. Youth gangs (I have to add - worldwide - or I am in danger of being a bigot...) in the right mood even act on looks.

Police has to make sure, that driving bikes with weaponery and slashing tourists on their way to a five star resort for fun or whatever other fabricated reason should not be excused by police calling it a misunderstanding.

If their lawyer or their parents would talk like that, "you see, my kiddo nice, always behaves, never bad, must be misunderstanding that he hit with the machete at your head" I would say, ok, that is their job. But the police?

Did they forget the slasher who cut the thumb off? Instead of excusing, they should come down hard on illegal weapons in public. A crack down on gangs at night. Tell them to stay away from trouble. Confiscate that stuff. Fine them, beforehand. And WHEN something happens, do not excuse them. Scare them and others.

And the police of Krabi should ask itself, if they really do know what is happening in their backyard and their boulevards at night. Youth gangs do not materialize suddenly out of nowhere.

Having to police them is btw. a clear sign of too late. Too late from the parents, too late from the teachers, too late from the local agencies and governments. Too late for a society.

Posted by Lena on October 27, 2012 01:59


this is as much the fault of the teachers as it is the fault of the tourists involved.. do you think any teacher in thailand would encourage this behavior? or teach that it is okay to attack a complete stranger? you'd be better off blaming TV and video game violence- again both of which i saw a lot of as a 'youth' and was never tempted to attack a complete stranger.. yes, these people have a problem with values and they do need to learn that this behavior is not acceptable on any level but to lay blame at the door of their teachers is a ludicrous suggestion.

Posted by another steve on October 27, 2012 07:19


Lena said: "And the police of Krabi should ask itself, if they really do know what is happening in their backyard and their boulevards at night."

Just like in Phuket, probably - they know what is happening and that is why you rarely see a policeman in Phuket after sundown. (Except around 2:00 am when they visit the bars on their patch to pick up tea-money).

Posted by Buster on October 27, 2012 13:21


Police focused more on playing down than asking why teens hang around at night attacking with machetes and knives. I am speechless indeed.

Posted by cekipa on October 27, 2012 14:47


Another steve, Where you read, I blame teachers to encourage such a behavior? Are you crazy?
I do not blame. I just state the obvious for me, that when youth gangs occur, policing them is not the best way of preventing, handling them.
And clearly it is a responsibility also of teachers to form characters. At least on my school, and the school of my kids. Curriculums and extra curriculums are a vital way to help kids grow to adults. Science projects, dance classes, theater, sports in general... Asking them to excel, bring pride to their life when they do in their way. Giving them tasks but letting them decide on how to do. Moderate their ways. Also keeping an eye on them and with early signs of trouble get in contact with their parents or special guides.
Clearly your understanding of a teacher is a little bit different.

But to clear the point I tried to do: police is the very last resort to raise a kid. And often I read after incidents like this, lock 'em up and throw the key away. That does not change anything. One gone, ten to follow.

Posted by Lena on October 27, 2012 15:06


Glad to see the story in the British press today.

Posted by dave on October 27, 2012 16:15


from some members you post all comments...from me you decide. is there a reason for that? i like phuketwan but how you deal with the comments makes me not happy...

Posted by mike on October 27, 2012 22:14


@ Andrew...100% and thank you.

Posted by Ted Davis on October 27, 2012 22:42

Monday July 15, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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