CCTV footage condemns Michelle’s killers

CCTV footage condemns Michelle’s killers
By admin

Two Thai men have admitted murdering Perth travel agent Michelle Smith as her sister told Travel Today she wanted the attackers to face the death penalty.

Surin Taptong, 37 and Surasak “Boy” Suwannachot, 26, pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing yesterday in Phuket Central Court.

By admitting the crime, the men will face a long prison sentence rather than execution.

But Michelle’s sister, Kaye Gordon Storch, said in an email to Travel Today that said she would never travel to Thailand and called for the men to be executed.

“Personally, I hope that the perpetrators are given the death penalty, even though Michelle would not want that,” she said. “But whatever the outcome, it won’t bring back our beautiful sister. RIP Michelle.”

The court heard how Taptong picked up Suwannachot – who had just been released from a Bangkok prison – on a stolen motorbike and headed for Kata Noi Beach.

After visiting a bar the men spotted Michelle walking along the road and attempted to grab her bag. She resisted.

Security footage then shows Suwannachot getting off the motorbike, wrestling for the bag and stabbing 60-year-old Michelle three times. Another travel agent, Tammee Lynn, 42, was also injured.

Suwannachot admitted the attack after being told the evidence was overwhelming. His partner in crime also pleaded guilty but only after watching the video footage which showed he was close by.

He had previously argued he was waiting on the bike 20 metres away.

Despite the guilty pleas, the case continues with the judge saying he intends to summon five witnesses, including medical staff.

No date was set for sentencing.

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