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“We hope they spend a long time in jail”: Family welcome clemency to backpacker murderers

PUBLISHED: 18:04 16 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:04 16 August 2020

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

The family of a man killed in Thailand along with Norfolk woman Hannah Witheridge have welcomed a decision to commute their murderers’ death sentence to life in prison.

Wei Phyo (also referred to as Win Zaw Htun) is wearing the white shirt and Zaw Lin is wearing the red shirt. Photo taken inside holding cell prior to incarceration in Koh Samui Provincial prison. Picture: SuppliedWei Phyo (also referred to as Win Zaw Htun) is wearing the white shirt and Zaw Lin is wearing the red shirt. Photo taken inside holding cell prior to incarceration in Koh Samui Provincial prison. Picture: Supplied

The bodies of Miss Witheridge, 23, from Hemsby, and David Miller, 24, from Jersey, were found on a beach on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, a popular diving destination in 2014.

Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were convicted of their murders and sentenceed to death. However they were among many convicts in Thai prisons whose sentences have now been reduced under a clemency decree issued by King Maha Vajiralongkorn to mark his 68th birthday on July 28, their lawyer, Nadthasiri Bergman, confirmed.

The two denied killing Mr Miller and raping and killing Miss Witheridge.

More: Thai King commutes death sentence for Hannah Witheridge killers

Mr Miller’s parents Ian and Sue Miller, who have campaigned against the death penalty, said in a statement to the BBC: “We are grateful to His Majesty the King of Thailand for showing his clemency to the murderers of our son David. The final admittance of their guilt has allowed this act of clemency to become possible.

“Every moment we miss our son. Our thoughts are also with the Witheridge family and the tragic loss of their daughter.

“We hope that these two murderers will now spend a very, very long time in jail where they cannot harm other families and will have time to reflect on the consequences of their acts.”


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