Friday 13 December 2019

Friend of slain tourist flees over 'mafia' threat

Tourists prepare for a diving on the island of Koh Tao, where two British tourists were killed. The bodies of David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found early on Monday on the beach on Koh Tao, a southern island known for its coral reefs and diving. Reuters
Tourists prepare for a diving on the island of Koh Tao, where two British tourists were killed. The bodies of David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found early on Monday on the beach on Koh Tao, a southern island known for its coral reefs and diving. Reuters
Hannah Witheridge
David Miller
Chief of Royal Thai Police Somyot Pumphanmuang (C) and Royal Thai Police advisor Jarumporn Suramanee (L) look at a beach near the spot where bodies of two killed British tourists were found, on the island of Koh Tao. Photo credit: REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
Police search for clues near the spot where the bodies of Annah Witheridge and David Miller were found. Photo credit: REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Tom Phillips

A PETRIFIED Scottish man has fled the Thai island where two backpackers were murdered last week after claiming the "mafia" was trying to execute him.

Sean McAnna (25), from Shotts near Glasgow, was a friend of David Miller, the tourist whose body was found last week on Koh Tao island along with that of Hannah Witheridge.

Mr McAnna claimed that two Thai men, who he believes may have crucial information about the murders, threatened to kill him in the early hours of yesterday morning while he was drinking at a bar on Sairee beach near to where their disfigured bodies were discovered.

He fled, took refuge in a nearby supermarket and was only able to leave when police were called and arrived on the scene at around 5am.

They questioned the two Thai men, however no arrests were made.

With those two men still at large, Mr McAnna spent the day in hiding before fleeing Koh Tao, fearing he could be killed if he stayed.

"I need to get off this island," a tearful and visibly nervous Mr McAnna said during an interview conducted inside the back of a taxi before he departed.

"I genuinely thought that was the day I was going to die," Mr McAnna said. "I genuinely thought that this was me dead. That I was gone."

"I phoned my mum, I phoned my sister. I told her I loved her and that I would try and make it home.

"I said that if this was going to be the last conversation that we had then it was a really sad one to have, but she's been great and I love her."

Singer

Mr McAnna met Mr Miller last year while both men were living in Leeds. He was the singer and guitarist in a Leeds band called These Fading Polaroids and Mr Miller was an engineering student. Both lived in the Hyde Park area.

Mr McAnna said he recently returned to Koh Tao - where he had previously spent 18 months living and working as a barman - and had planned but failed to meet Mr Miller on the night he and Ms Witheridge were murdered.

Police have yet to make any arrests for the horrific murders and now say they plan to force every man on the 2,000 population island to provide DNA for testing. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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