Pol Lt Channarong Prakongkuea, who handled the case, said that the jet-ski operator, Danaichet Yomjinda, 25, admitted assault, and was therefore sent the day after the attack to the Provincial Court for sentencing.
Phuket’s Chief Justice, Parinya Chaowalittawin, agreed. He said, “If there was an application for a Tourist Court hearing, I would know about it.”
A denial also came from Sunti Pawai, Director of the Phuket Tourism & Sports Department, which has under its umbrella the Tourist Assistance Centre (TAC). The TAC is an indispensable link in the process whereby cases reach the Tourist Court.
“I have no information about a first case [in the Tourist Court]. If there was such a case it would go through the TAC.”
Justice in the Provincial Court can be swift when the accused admits guilt, and there is no need for a trial. The judge simply has to decide on the penalty.
In this case, Danaichet went before a judge on Saturday and was fined B1,000. He was also sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for two years.
The hearing was the day after Danaichet and the two tourists got into an argument over damage to his jet-ski. Enraged, Danaichet grabbed a ‘No Swimming’ flag and beat the father, 66, and his son, 43, with the flagpole, giving them both bruises.
Meanwhile, the first test of the new Tourist Court is yet to come.