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Advice needed regarding Ex Sapper Officer attacked and hospitalised in Thailand

#1
A mate I saw at the last Army Navy was working in Pattaya two weeks ago when he was attacked by a group of local men. As a result of the attack he fell unconscious and hit his head on the concrete floor suffering brain damage. He has been in hospital for the last two weeks and has had brain surgery and will need a craniotomy in the near future. His condition remains serious and he will need ongoing care in Thailand and at home in South Wales. I would be grateful for advice to pass to his wife on two counts: Medical and Legal.

Two of the assailants are in custody. I do not know the strength of the case against them (CCTV, witnesses?) however I would be grateful for advice on the likely outcome of prosecution in terms of compensation for loss of earnings, damages, medical costs etc. If a case is unlikely to result in a successful outcome it may be better to concentrate on the medical case. My understanding is the British Embassy will provide a list of recognised legal representatives, but no recommendation. I understand that there is a window of 84 days to file a case.

His medical care in a private hospital is currently being covered under his employers medical insurance. I have advised his wife to get a copy of the medical insurance policy to find out exactly what it covers it terms of cost, time, medevac etc. My question is regarding potential transition from private hospital in Thailand to NHS care in South Wales (assuming private insurance ends when he leaves Thailand). Is there a need to make advance contact with NHS specialists in South Wales so that they can be advised of his case and possibly prepare for his return to UK? If so who should be approached? His home is Vale of Glamorgan.

Any help or advice gratefully received.
 
#2
With good evidence the likelihood of recovering fair damages is actually quite high, albeit slow. The Thai justice system does have mechanisms to track down assets that will confiscated and sold to pay compensation, though depending on the financial standing of the convicted it may or may not yield much.

All bets are off if the offenders are exceptionally rich or well connected though (the two usually go together).

I can put you in touch with good lawyers in Pattaya who are experienced in cases involving expats. PM for details.
 
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#4
A mate I saw at the last Army Navy was working in Pattaya two weeks ago when he was attacked by a group of local men. As a result of the attack he fell unconscious and hit his head on the concrete floor suffering brain damage. He has been in hospital for the last two weeks and has had brain surgery and will need a craniotomy in the near future. His condition remains serious and he will need ongoing care in Thailand and at home in South Wales. I would be grateful for advice to pass to his wife on two counts: Medical and Legal.

Two of the assailants are in custody. I do not know the strength of the case against them (CCTV, witnesses?) however I would be grateful for advice on the likely outcome of prosecution in terms of compensation for loss of earnings, damages, medical costs etc. If a case is unlikely to result in a successful outcome it may be better to concentrate on the medical case. My understanding is the British Embassy will provide a list of recognised legal representatives, but no recommendation. I understand that there is a window of 84 days to file a case.

His medical care in a private hospital is currently being covered under his employers medical insurance. I have advised his wife to get a copy of the medical insurance policy to find out exactly what it covers it terms of cost, time, medevac etc. My question is regarding potential transition from private hospital in Thailand to NHS care in South Wales (assuming private insurance ends when he leaves Thailand). Is there a need to make advance contact with NHS specialists in South Wales so that they can be advised of his case and possibly prepare for his return to UK? If so who should be approached? His home is Vale of Glamorgan.

Any help or advice gratefully received.
The consular team at the Embassy (or nearby consulate) are the people best equipped to advise on the legal aspects of a potential criminal case. They can also provide a list of English-speaking lawyers. On the matter of medical care, that's up to the individual and his family but the consular team are generally happy to liaise with the hospitals (but not insurance companies). Oh, and don't expect the consulate to deal with any financial aspects or cash advances. look at the FCO travel advice for Thailand for contact details.
 
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#6
If they are average type locals, they won't have any assets or money, and if they are wealthy, forget seeing anything.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#7
British Consulate in Pattaya
The British Embassy in Bangkok maintains a part time and limited consular service for British citizens in the Pattaya area, staffed by an honorary consul and a consular assistant.
We are required to charge for some services as laid down by the foreign office in London.

  • Contact: Mr. Barry Kenyon
  • Mob:081 782 7363
  • Mob2:089 203 1646
  • Url:www.fco.gov.uk/travel
  • Business hours:
    9.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. weekdays
  • 489/3 Soi 5
    Jomtien Beach Road
    Nongprue, Banglamung
    Chonburi 20260

( taken from his website - Persec is his)
 
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#9
If they are average type locals, they won't have any assets or money, and if they are wealthy, forget seeing anything.
+1 to that. It is always seen as the fault of the foreigner for being there. I was once arrested and threatened with a fine for 'fighting' with the two men who were mugging me, it apparently being my fault for breaking the nose of one of my attackers. An agreement to sign a confession and a payment of about £20 to the 'Tourist Police*' for 'tea' got me out in the morning.

It's not beyond reasonable probability to expect a counter-suit along these lines from the attackers. Having the consulate involved so early will probably help shut that down.

*I was arrested by 'ordinary' police (in full view of about 20 foreigners who all told the police that it was I who had been attacked, to no avail) and it was my insistence that the Tourist Police be involved, if only because they speak English. The original 'request' for payment was 30,000 thb (around $1000) for a new nose job for the 'victim'.
 
#10
Thank you Bob, forewarned is forearmed in this case. I shall pass this on. At the moment I do not know what evidence is available (CCTV, witnesses etc) but knowing how things may be misconstrued / turn out is useful,
 
#11
Thank you Bob, forewarned is forearmed in this case. I shall pass this on. At the moment I do not know what evidence is available (CCTV, witnesses etc) but knowing how things may be misconstrued / turn out is useful,
Don't pin your hopes on 'evidence'.

Also, Pattaya is the most notorious of dives in Thailand, particularly around the grid square of bars surrounding 'Walking Street' (which can be compared to the 'ninth circle of Hell'). The police are in a complex economic arrangement with the various bars and the hoods who work in the area. NOTHING is allowed to disrupt the balance of this eco-system, and even where a wrong-un is fingered for a job, you can be sure it will be someone off the very bottom of the totem pole who is sacrificed.

And, as has been said by @Saturation, they won't have any money.
 
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#12
Just remember that most policemen in Thailand are members of the self-help society. Given half a chance they help themselves to anything valuable.
 
#13
Just remember that most policemen in Thailand are members of the self-help society. Given half a chance they help themselves to anything valuable.
Good advice . Happened to a guy I knew who visited Thailand . Taxi driver handed him a bag of weed despite the guy NOT being a stoner. Before he knew it a couple of plainsclothes cops felt his collar , took him up to his hotel room and helped themselves to a digital camera , ipod and two hundred dollars
 
#14
If he had PAX personal accident insurance at the time, he or his representatives might want to use the legal advice service: 02380 930 730
 
#15
One of my friends came off a dune buggy in the middle east a few years ago. Was in hospital for weeks. The arrangements for him to be brought home were all arranged by a private medical transport company, contracted by his medical insurance company. An alternative is for the insurers to just pay for relatives to go out and stay in whichever country he's in. Depends on the individual situation. If it's a private hospital in Thailand, he's probably better off staying there.

In my friend's case, his insurance paid for me to stay out in the hotel nearby, plus some family. He was transported home to UK because his relatives were unable to leave UK for long.

You can't really get involved with the medical side. The medical evacuation company makes all the decisions.

Legally, I would just wait and see if the police prosecute the offenders. If they do, a follow on civil compensation claim would be more likely to succeed. But I wouldn't expect the kind of criminals involved to have any vulnerable assets to seize.

This kind of violent attack by Thais sounds very unusual.
 
#16
Almost certainly far too late as I only just noticed this thread marked at the bottom of the 'Thai cave' thread, but the information may be useful to someone. Please PM me if anyone wishes.

There is also an excellent and very active Royal British Legion in Pattaya with members trained to help in welfare cases who will be only too happy to give advice and assistance, with branches in some other cities (Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, possibly others), and once the Embassy know any servicemen are involved they will swiftly pass the buck to them.

I've been living in Thailand for 25 years so I do have some experience here, particularly with some aspects.

I would be grateful for advice on the likely outcome of prosecution in terms of compensation for loss of earnings, damages, medical costs etc. If a case is unlikely to result in a successful outcome it may be better to concentrate on the medical case.
Almost certainly a complete waste of time and money. Government compensation will be minimal - as far as I can recall from about £100 for minor injuries to about £7,000 for death. If suing, private compensation will be based on what they've got which is unlikely to be much (certainly once they know you are suing) and based on local government hospital charges. To give you an idea of those, I pay full costs and it costs me £1 (one) to see the doctor at my local hospital for my regular check ups, and about £50 for a few days stay in a very pleasant private room in the Buddhist Monk Wing (I'm not a monk!), including meals and all medical fees, which would cost me around ten or twenty times that for a worse room and cover at an International hospital.
With good evidence the likelihood of recovering fair damages is actually quite high, albeit slow. The Thai justice system does have mechanisms to track down assets that will confiscated and sold to pay compensation, though depending on the financial standing of the convicted it may or may not yield much.
Disagree strongly (see above). If the assailants had any assets they will be long gone by the time any tracking down gets done.
I can put you in touch with good lawyers in Pattaya who are experienced in cases involving expats.
They must be recent arrivals! Many are 'experienced in cases involving expats', but I wouldn't describe any as 'good'.
The consular team at the Embassy (or nearby consulate) are the people best equipped to advise on the legal aspects of a potential criminal case. They can also provide a list of English-speaking lawyers.
The consular team at the Embassy are notoriously useless in such cases and they'll shy away very quickly from giving any advice on legal aspects. Their list of English-speaking lawyers is also primarily centred around Bangkok, and not to be taken as any recommendation. When they first put out a list which actually recommended lawyers without the normal caveats, the two law firms they gave for Pattaya were run by British ex-lawyers who had been struck off in the UK (no, I'm not joking).
On the matter of medical care, that's up to the individual and his family but the consular team are generally happy to liaise with the hospitals (but not insurance companies).
Again, the consular team are notoriously useless when it comes to providing personal help, and they're based only in Bangkok.
British Consulate in Pattaya
The British Embassy in Bangkok maintains a part time and limited consular service for British citizens in the Pattaya area, staffed by an honorary consul and a consular assistant.
We are required to charge for some services as laid down by the foreign office in London.

  • Contact: Mr. Barry Kenyon
  • Mob:081 782 7363
  • Mob2:089 203 1646
  • Url:www.fco.gov.uk/travel
  • Business hours:
    9.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. weekdays
  • 489/3 Soi 5
    Jomtien Beach Road
    Nongprue, Banglamung
    Chonburi 20260
Barry hasn't been Honorary Consul in Pattaya for maybe fifteen years; he was followed by another Honorary Consul, then by a Locally Employed Consul who lasted a few months. The Consulate has been closed for maybe ten years and there is no Honorary Consul any more or local rep - the Embassy policy is to provide central consular services from Bangkok, mainly by e-mail and internet sites.
+1 to that. It is always seen as the fault of the foreigner for being there. I was once arrested and threatened with a fine for 'fighting' with the two men who were mugging me, it apparently being my fault for breaking the nose of one of my attackers. An agreement to sign a confession and a payment of about £20 to the 'Tourist Police*' for 'tea' got me out in the morning.

It's not beyond reasonable probability to expect a counter-suit along these lines from the attackers. Having the consulate involved so early will probably help shut that down.

*I was arrested by 'ordinary' police (in full view of about 20 foreigners who all told the police that it was I who had been attacked, to no avail) and it was my insistence that the Tourist Police be involved, if only because they speak English. The original 'request' for payment was 30,000 thb (around $1000) for a new nose job for the 'victim'.
Agreed. Thai police are notoriously corrupt, and those in Pattaya are at the top of the list.
Don't pin your hopes on 'evidence'.

Also, Pattaya is the most notorious of dives in Thailand, particularly around the grid square of bars surrounding 'Walking Street' (which can be compared to the 'ninth circle of Hell'). The police are in a complex economic arrangement with the various bars and the hoods who work in the area. NOTHING is allowed to disrupt the balance of this eco-system, and even where a wrong-un is fingered for a job, you can be sure it will be someone off the very bottom of the totem pole who is sacrificed.

And, as has been said by @Saturation, they won't have any money.
Agreed again. That area has now been taken over almost exclusively by the Russian 'mafia' who effectively control all the bars, even as far as having large neon signs advertising 'foreign girls' and advertising them openly on local TV.
This kind of violent attack by Thais sounds very unusual.
That depends on the circumstances, which aren't clear - particularly as @muscat_diver said the victim was "was working in Pattaya" which could cover everything, legal and illegal, from working as a teacher to running a string of under age transexuals from a bar. No point in speculating on that, but if you encroach on someone else's territory in a place like Pattaya there are likely to be consequences.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
@John G - thanks....that data was from the FCO website, my apologies. Good to have a reality check from boots on the ground.

Typical Whitehall boll0cks then - the website was compiled ten years ago and nobody has fact-checked it since.

Makes me wonder how many other Consular posts have been quietly scrapped in the Age of Austerity. :rolleyes:
 
#18
@John G - thanks....that data was from the FCO website, my apologies. Good to have a reality check from boots on the ground.

Typical Whitehall boll0cks then - the website was compiled ten years ago and nobody has fact-checked it since.

Makes me wonder how many other Consular posts have been quietly scrapped in the Age of Austerity. :rolleyes:
I hadn't realised that was from the FCO website - that's appalling. The Embassy published a number of explanations about why the Consulate was closed, citing 'streamlining, centralising, efficiency, etc.

Barry was followed by another expat who was rather more 'controversial' so he was replaced by making it an LEP post, a dual national who just happened to be a friend of the Consul's wife, who'd never been to Pattaya before; she left after a few months, then they briefly tried running the Consulate with staff from Bangkok twice a week, then stopped completely and closed the Consulate.

The Consulate in Chiang Mai was also closed a few years later, claiming the same reasons, although they still have an excellent Honorary Consul albeit with a much reduced capability.

Visa applications have been privatised in Bangkok, and passport applications have to also be made through the same company, VSF, in person, although in all other countries in the region Brits can apply direct by post to the UK instead of having to pay VFS to post their application for them. Unofficial visa agents can do the passport application and collection for you for a one hundred pound fee. Unfortunately it's not only Thai officialdom which is corrupt in Thailand.
 

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