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Bashed tourists relive horror in court

A gang of thugs brutally beat a British family in Thailand. Picture: CCTV footage.

APNews Corp Australia Network

A BRITISH couple in their 60s who were brutally attacked during a family holiday in Thailand recounted the assault on Monday in court, after a visit from government officials bearing gifts and apologies.

Rosemary and Lewis Owen and their 43-year-old son were vacationing last month in the resort town of Hua Hin when a group of four allegedly drunken Thai men attacked them. A video of the April 13 assault was widely shared in Thailand and drew global attention to the attack, in which the three tourists were punched in the faces, knocked down and kicked until they fell unconscious.

Police have said the attack started after the Owens’ son accidentally bumped into one of the Thai men on a crowded street. Police have arrested four suspects who face charges of aggravated group assault which carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

An elderly British couple and their son are on the ground after they were savagely attacked during a family vacation in Hua, Hin, Thailand. Picture: AP.

An elderly British couple and their son are on the ground after they were savagely attacked during a family vacation in Hua, Hin, Thailand. Picture: AP.Source:AP

The attack was the latest blow to Thailand’s image as a tourist haven and has prompted officials to vow swift punishment for the perpetrators.

Panadda Diskul, a minister in the Thai Prime Minister’s Office, visited the couple in a Hua Hin hospital on Monday. Thai media reported that he apologised on behalf of the Thai government and promised the suspects would face trial.

He was accompanied by the Hua Hin police superintendent, the Hua Hin mayor and the provincial governor, Thai media reported. They presented the couple with fruit baskets, flowers and other gifts.

Rosemary Owen, 65, suffered a serious head injury that resulted in surgery to remove a build-up of fluid in the brain. Her 68-year-old husband and 43-year-old son, who left Thailand last week, both required stitches in the head.

“The couple looked better. I saw them smiling and relaxed, which was not the case last week when they were frightened, upset and angry, understandably,” said police superintendent Colonel Chaiyakorn Sriladecho. “The doctor said this morning that their wounds are healing fine and that there shouldn’t be any more complications.”

Ahead of the couple’s scheduled flight home on Tuesday, they were taken to the Hua Hin court for their testimonies to be recorded.

“Their testimonies today will be used for the trial later. We asked them to do this so they won’t have to travel back to Thailand once the trial begins,” Chaiyakorn said.

Details of their testimony were not made public and the trial date has not yet been set.

Two Burmese workers were convicted of the murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in Thailand. Picture: Twitter/RujRuj.

Two Burmese workers were convicted of the murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in Thailand. Picture: Twitter/RujRuj.Source:Supplied

The attack is the latest act of violence against tourists. In March, four French tourists were assaulted on the island of Koh Kut as they walked to dinner. They included a mother and daughter who were both raped.

Two British backpackers were murdered on the island of Koh Tao in 2014. Autopsies showed the couple, a young man and woman, had been severely beaten and the woman raped. Two Myanmar migrants were convicted of the crime based on DNA evidence that rights groups say was questionable.

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