Pornthep was drunk off-duty when he shot noodle vendor Aroon Thongplab in the stomach on Bangla Rd in Patong early on Feb 23 last year.
He was corporal with the Phuket Provincial Police who had just been transferred to Region 8 Police at the time.
Pornthep was quickly stripped of his rank and discharged from the Royal Thai Police. He now faces charges of attempted murder, carrying a firearm in a public area without necessary reason, and firing a weapon in a public area.
Mr Aroon has been left paralysed from the waist down after surgeons removed the bullet, which had lodged near his spine. His wife, Kulthida Chananan, spends most of her time caring for him, and their two young children.
The trial was first deferred in August last year, and again in September. Now it has been postponed again, until Mar 17.
“No progress has been made in the trial,” Kerdphol Kaewkerd, the Bangkok-based lawyer assisting Mr Aroon with the case for free, told The Phuket News.
“The court has scheduled an examination for witnesses on March 17-18, and April 7,” he said.
“The appointment for witness examination has been scheduled since last year, but has to be postponed every time because the defendant’s lawyer has requested to postpone the appointment two to three times, claiming that it is during the COVID outbreak, and the lawyers, prosecutors and courts can’t find the time to match,” he said.
Mr Kerdphol confirmed that Pornthep continues to remain in remand at Phuket Provincial Prison.
“The police take care of the family to a certain extent, not special care. Police patrol their house from time to time,” he added.
Lt Gen Amphol Buarabporn, who took up the post of Region 8 Police Commander after the shooting in February last year, said he did not know much about the case, but strongly dried it and thanked the press for following up on progress in the trial.
“The police can’t shoot anyone carelessly, Lt Gen Amphol told The Phuket News.
“The use of guns by police has rules. Everyone must obtain prior authorisation every time they carry a firearm in a public area.
“If you are in uniform, you are legally allowed to carry a gun because it is considered that you are on duty. But if they are not in uniform, permission must be obtained first,” he said.
Unsolicited, Lt Gen Amphol said that he would raise the issue with subordinate officers.