Sentencing of Michelle's killers expected tomorrow
PHUKET: Sentencing of the two men accused in the murder of Australian travel agent Michelle Smith is expected to take place tomorrow afternoon (August 8) in the Phuket Provincial Court.
Tuesday 7 August 2012, 04:36PM
After taking pleas yesterday (August 6), the two judges in today’s hearing spent their time going through police evidence in detail in order to be fully informed of all the circumstances before deciding on appropriate sentences for Surasak Suwannachote and Surin Tadtong.
Surasak pleaded guilty yesterday to murdering Mrs Smith while Surin pleaded guilty to aiding the killing of Mrs Smith, conspiracy to rob and disposing of evidence – the knife used by Surasak in the attack.
After the hearing today, when asked what he would say to Mrs Smith's family, Surasak told reporters, "I would say Sorry."
Mrs Smith was stabbed in the evening of June 20 during a botched bag-snatching as she and fellow travel agent Tammee Lynn walked back from dinner to their resort, the Katathani in Kata Noi.
Just about 100 metres from the resort, Surin and Surasak stopped next to them and Surasak tried to garb Mrs Smith’s handbag. She clung on to it, so Surasak got off the bike and, as Ms Lynn came to Mrs Smith’s aid, swung a large knife over his head, stabbing down at the two women.
He then gave up on the robbery, and he and Surin sped off.
Ms Lynn was slashed in the arm, but Mrs Smith was stabbed in the chest, the knife penetrating her heart. By the time the two reached the resort, Mrs Smith was already dying. She expired outside the staff entrance.
A major manhunt was launched, backed by a reward of B300,000 for information leading to the arrest of the duo. Thanks to careful police work, police were able to get their mobile phone numbers and, through these, the men’s whereabouts.
Both were arrested just five days later, Surin in Samut Sakorn, near Bangkok, and Surasak in Chumphon province.