Killers of Thailand backpackers to face death penalty as court upholds convictions

Two men who killed British backpackers on a beach in Thailand are to face the death sentence after a court upheld their convictions.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 2:01 pm
Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were killed on the resort island of Koh Tao in Thailand in 2014. Pictures: PA

The body of Leeds University student David Miller was found alongside that of Hannah Witheridge on the island of Koh Tao in September 2014.

Miss Witheridge, 23, from Norfolk, had been raped and beaten while 24-year-old Mr Miller, who was originally from Jersey, was also discovered with fatal injuries.

Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin denied killing the pair but were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in December 2015.

Human Rights Watch at the time called the verdict "profoundly disturbing", citing the defendants' accusations of police torture that were never investigated and questionable DNA evidence linking them to the crime.

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But Thailand's Supreme Court has now upheld their convictions.

Miss Witheridge and Mr Miller from Jersey, had arrived in Thailand separately and met at the hotel where they were both staying.

Their killers, who are from Burma and were both 22 at the time, were employed as service workers on the island, which is famous for its diving locations.