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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 06:53 GMT
Trauma of murder victim's friend
Katherine Horton
Katherine Horton had been having the holiday of a lifetime
The best friend of Thailand murder victim Katherine Horton has spoken publicly in detail for the first time on their holiday that ended in tragedy.

In BBC Wales' Week In Week Out programme, Ruth Adams, 22, from Kent, tells how she went "into denial" after discovering her friend had died.

She also dismissed some media reports which said she and Katherine, 21, from Cardiff, had argued.

Two fishermen are appealing against a death sentence for rape and murder.

Ms Adams recounted how she reported Katherine missing after spending all day on 2 January searching for her.

The police had already recovered a body, but Ms Adams spent three hours giving a statement without a translator before she was told her friend was dead.

Katherine Horton and her friend Ruth Adams
All I did the days afterwards was ask myself: 'What if we hadn't gone back to the huts, or gone into town, what if I'd walked down the beach with her?'
Ruth Adams

Ms Adams said: "I think I was just in complete denial. The first thing on my mind was: 'How am I going to tell the family?' "We were going to be travelling together and you just can't ring someone up and just tell them that."

"The hardest thing was going back the next day and having to pack up all Kath's things - that was just horrible, just having these Thai police stood around me," Ms Adams added.

'Best of friends'

Ms Horton was attacked by two Thai fishermen as she walked on a beach in Koh Samui while speaking to her mother in Cardiff on her mobile phone.

The Reading University friends had been having the holiday of a lifetime up to that moment, Ms Adams told Week In Week Out.

But she dismissed some media reports that the pair had argued.

Jill Burrows
Tourist Jill Burrows found Katherine Horton's phone

Ms Adams said: "When you travel with someone that much you are going have your little niggly arguments but we would always tell each other if we annoyed one another and we'd be fine, best of friends."

The pair were so close that Ruth said their friends referred to them as "Kuth".

She added: "If I'd have known it was the last day we were going to spend together I wouldn't have picked it any other way.

"We just had a really, really fun day on the beach, in the sea and then went out for dinner in the evening - just chatted about friends and the future."

British tourist Jill Burrows, who found Ms Horton's phone and handed it into a bar, also explains in the programme how she later realised its significance.

She said: "We were devastated. To think that a young girl had lost her life - it was just horrific."

Ms Adams has also relived the night of her friend's death.

She said: "All I did the days afterwards was ask myself: 'What if we hadn't gone back to the huts, or gone into town, what if I'd walked down the beach with her?'

"But even if I'd walked down with her it was two people who attacked her so it could have been both of us."

The BBC Wales programme will also feature previously unpublished photographs of Ms Horton taken by Ms Adams.

Week in Week Out is broadcast on BBC One Wales on 14 February at 2235 GMT.

Hear what student's friend said of their last day together


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