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The Sun's report online today: Krabi tourism being punished

Krabi Tourism Suffers Victim Backlash

Thursday, November 22, 2012
PHUKET: Here's the heading that will alarm the Krabi and Phuket tourist industry: 'We thought Thailand was paradise... now we are haunted by memory of machete sex attack'

'Holiday gang victims break silence with warning to tourists,' says the sub-heading.

It's an account in Britain's biggest selling daily newspaper, The Sun, of the experiences of young British couple Jack Cole and April Clifton, who were attacked in Krabi last month.

The article begins: ''IT should have been a dream holiday on an island paradise - but for Jack Cole and girlfriend April Clifton, their trip to Thailand ended in a nightmare.

''On a romantic stroll one evening, the pair were pounced on by a gang of eight thugs riding mopeds.''

The horror of the attack is recounted, blow by blow, with a photograph of the machete used by the attackers.

There is also a photograph of a smiling Ms Clifton, cradling a gibbon, in Ao Nang earlier on the night of the attack.

The couple now need counselling back in Britain while Mr Cole's arm will take some time longer to heal.

The article says that two members of the gang were charged with attempted murder as a result of the attack.

However, when Phuketwan checked with Krabi police today, officers said the two members of the gang had been charged with carrying a weapon and assault.

Mr Cole was treated for his injuries at a hospital on Phuket, and went back to Krabi to give evidence in a court so that justice could be carried out after he returned to Britain.

The Sun reported that one attacker was jailed for three years, and the other for 10 years. Phuketwan could not confirm that a trial had taken place.

Now Krabi tourism is being punished by a prominent account in Britain's best-selling newspaper.

It's further evidence that those who say protecting tourists properly and preventing attacks is the best approach.

The sensational report comes as the video 'Evil Man from Krabi', created by the father of a Dutch woman seeking justice, reaches 500,000 views on YouTube.

The President of the Tourist Association of Krabi, Itthirit Kingleg, said today that most tourists understood that crimes could happen anywhere.

''That said, we have to improve safety because this is a holiday destination,'' he said. ''We plan to increase the number of security cameras and improve attitudes to make sure tourists are safe.

''Everybody in tourism here will be talking to each other and the police to make sure these kinds of tragedies do not happen in the future.''


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Although this article is in relation to Krabi I would think per capita the crime levels are the same in Phuket and Krabi. Whilst I think what happened was totally unacceptable one of the reasons I live in Phuket for many years now is the personal safety compared to the West. I am over 6 foot tall and a man however even petite ladies drive unconcerned at night time and mostly there is very little crime. This is especially commendable given that there is a huge difference in many cases to what wealth tourists have compared to the local people.If tourism of Thailand want me to make an article I am quite happy to do so.

Posted by Happy Farang on November 22, 2012 15:22


Come on happy farang !!! Wake up !!!

Posted by jorgen48 on November 22, 2012 16:20


3 years in prison for one of these thugs is an insulting sentence for a crime where murder was a very possible outcome. They should have received a far heavier sentence.

Can I suggest that since tourism is the mainstay of these local economies - that any Thai person convicted of a crime against a foreigner should automatically receive double the standard sentence. This should be laid down by Thai law.

Likewise, any foreigner convicted of a crime in Thailand should also have their sentence doubled to act as a deterrent to other foreigners who think that Thailand is a soft touch on crime.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on November 22, 2012 16:23


Jorgen48 if you don't like Thailand so much go back to your country.

Posted by Happy Fafang on November 22, 2012 17:04


'There is also a photograph of a smiling Ms Clifton, cradling a gibbon, in Ao Nang earlier on the night of the attack'. What? Aren't they able to get their hands on some Lorises yet then?

Posted by findlay on November 22, 2012 22:27


@ Happy Fafang

So in your opinion only Thai people are allowed to be critical of anything in Thailand, or would you like to strip them of that right too ?

If so, where would you want to send them "back" to then?

If everyone always just "went back" as you suggest, nothing would ever change for the better.

Constructive criticism is one of the cornerstones of democracy and it does not look at race, nationality, religion or anything else superficial.

Then again, you don't strike me as a big fan of democracy and equal rights anyway.

Crimes happen everywhere but only in a select few destinations and societies is there such strong anti-foreigner bias both among authorities and also your average citizen.

Maybe if one day you are a victim of a crime committed by a powerful person pulling strings and experience the dismissive and ignorant attitude of the local police first hand like I have, will you perhaps pause to think that maybe some criticism is warranted.

Let's hope it doesn't happen to you but in the meantime let those who have experienced it continue their fight for justice.

Posted by Andrew on November 22, 2012 23:44


The main story aside.. it is interesting that you note that she had her photo taken with a gibbon.. considering the efforts of the Phuket Gibbon Rehab Project.

On the main story.. I can't help but think they provoked the attackers in some way. Obviously I'm not condoning it in any shape or form. I feel very sorry that this couple had such an awful experience when I and dare I say.. the majority of people.. love Thailand and Thai people!

Posted by Matt on November 23, 2012 00:10

Editor Comment:

The attackers wouldn't carry a machete unless they were fearful of some tourist saying something nasty, would they?


Crime happens everywhere...Especialy in tourist cities.Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya, BKK are no different. Thailand is a small country and the web of communication is quite large as we know. Word gets around much faster than let's say, Miami to LA...

Posted by Ted Davis on November 23, 2012 02:15

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