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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Brutal end to 'wonderful holiday'
Vanessa Arscott and Adam Lloyd
Vanessa Arscott was killed moments after her boyfriend, Adam Lloyd
It was a brutal and bloody end to a "wonderful holiday" that a Devon couple had been planning for months.

Before their deaths, Adam Lloyd and Vanessa Arscott had been reassuring their families how "everything is cool and we are both happy" in Thailand.

But they were murdered on 9 September 2004 at their last stop just two days before they were due to fly home.

Their murder, by a police sergeant who later denied he had even met them, was described as an "execution".

Never in a million years did I think they would die at the hands of a psychopath with a gun
Lynda Lloyd

When the couple arrived in the country, they e-mailed their families saying they had arrived safely and their mothers were told "stop worrying now".

Later emails and photographs painted a picture of an idyllic holiday - staying in tree house accommodation, trekking, trips on bamboo rafts and saying that "Thailand has been like a home to us" and how people had accepted them.

Mr Lloyd's mother, Lynda, a Torquay guest house owner, said: "It was something they always wanted to do.

"I worried about them being in an accident - but never in a million years did I think they would die at the hands of a psychopath with a gun."

Their last stop was in the tourist town of Kanchanaburi. But it was outside the S & S restaurant, not far from the bridge over the River Kwai, that their dream two-month trip turned into a nightmare.

Mr Lloyd, 25, was gunned down by Somchai Wisetsingh who then ran over 23-year-old Vanessa as she tried to flee.

The sergeant, who surrendered to the authorities on 7 October after going on the run, told the court he shot Mr Lloyd after the Briton spat in his face during an argument.

Police Master Sergeant Somchai Wisetsingh
Somchai Wisetsingh said an informant carried out the murders
He claimed he had not met them before the row outside the restaurant but photos later recovered from Miss Arscott's camera showed him kissing her cheek.

During the trial, Wisetsingh also changed his story and claimed an informant had killed the young couple.

He said a "Mr Ya ... one of my spies" told him that he had "done" the pair, adding that he did not even own a gun at the time because he had pawned it and that if he ever needed one he had to borrow a weapon from his colleagues.

But despite this and questions as to whether he was coerced into confessing to the killings, he was still handed two life sentences for the murders, avoiding a death sentence because of the confessions which he tried to call into doubt.

Lynda Lloyd said she believed her son would have done everything he could to save his girlfriend.

In the wake of the shootings, she said: "Adam adored Vanessa and was very protective of her.

"Adam was not a risk-taker. He was incredibly sensible. He was the type who would walk away from trouble."

Vanessa Arscott's 58-year-old father, Graham, described the way they died as an "execution".

After the trial he said the verdict recognised the "cold-blooded and callous way he ended our children's lives with as much compassion as would be shown to a rabid dog."


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