An elderly British couple who were attacked by four drunk men during the Songkran Festival in Hua Hin told Prime Minister’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul yesterday that they will return to the country, according to a report.
Lewis and Rosemary Owen, aged 68 and 65 respectively, told Panadda that they have visited Thailand annually and will continue to do so, the Thai News Agency reported.
They understood the attack has nothing to do with other Thais, it was reported. The couple’s son John, 43, who was also attacked, had said that he would not return to Thailand.
Panadda passed on to the couple the goodwill of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha while calling on the couple at Bangkok Hua Hin Hospital late in the morning. They had a medical check-up before leaving the country.
The Scottish couple and their son were holidaying in Hua Hin when they were engaged in the altercation with the drunk revellers. The men punched them in the face, kicked and stomped on them.
The incident was recorded on a security camera and a video clip
of the attack has been widely spread by foreign media on the Internet.
The four men were later arrested. They told local police they were sorry and that they would not have attacked the tourists if they were not drunk.
Panadda was yesterday joined in visiting the couple by senior local officials, including Prachuap Khiri Khan Governor Thawee Niritsirikul, Hua Hin Mayor Nopporn Wuthikul and Hua Hin police chief Colonel Chaiyakorn Sriladecho.
They met the couple for about half an hour, with Panadda offering the tourists a hand garland each as a gesture of apology or consolation.
Panadda said the prime minister has instructed relevant authorities to ensure safety for the many foreign visitors visiting the country, particularly during important festivals, for the sake of the country’s image.
Thawee said that tougher measures had been taken to improve the safety of tourists in Hua Hin, with the focus on night entertainment venues, as alcohol consumption was a main cause of the attack.