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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 10:23 GMT
'Life' hopes for Thai murder pair
Thai fishermen Bualoi Posit, foreground, and Wichai Somkhaoyai, arriving in court
The man will not appeal against their rape and murder convictions
The family and friends of a Cardiff student raped and murdered in Thailand said they hope "life means life" for her killers' commuted death sentence.

Bualoi Posit, 23, and Wichai Somkhaoyai, 24, have been told they will not be executed for raping and killing 21-year-old Katherine Horton.

The Reading University student was with a friend when she was attacked on New Year's Day on Koh Samui's Lamai Beach.

Her mother Elizabeth said she wanted "life to mean life" in this case.

Miss Horton was attacked as she made a mobile phone call on the beach where she and a friend had rented accommodation.

The two fishermen, who had been drinking and watching pornography, beat her with the parasol pole of a beach umbrella, raped her and then dumped her out at sea, where she drowned.

The pair were arrested within days of the murder and both admitted rape and murder charges.

Picture of Katherine Horton
Katherine Horton was attacked as she was talking on her phone

They were sentenced to death by lethal injection but immediately appealed against their sentences.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed the two men will no longer face the death penalty and that the appeal verdict will be read out at Surat Thani Court in southern Thailand on Thursday.

Ian Horton said the family were "uniform" over letting the Thai judicial procedure run its course.

He said: "We are not involved in that and we have never been involved in that.

'Spirit'

"If the judicial procedure results in a commutation of the death sentence, so be it.

"If it results in the carrying out of the death sentence, then so be it."

Katherine's mother, Elizabeth, told BBC Wales she did not agree with the death penalty but she wanted "life to mean life" in this case.

Bungalows on Lamai beach, Koh Samui
The murder happened on the beach where the student was staying

Katherine Horton's friend, Fay Jones, told Radio Wales that Ms Horton herself would not have wanted the death sentence imposed.

She said: "I don't think that Katherine would have wanted them to get the death penalty. I know that Katherine's mum made that quite clear in January and I support that fully.

She added: "I think they deserve to spend their last days in prison."

Ms Jones described her late friend as the "most wonderful girl with a great spirit for life".

"To lose a friend is horrific. To lose someone like Katherine is ten times worse than that.

"For my own part it's been very difficult coping with the fact that she's no longer here, particularly as we get into the run-up to Christmas, when I would have caught up with Katherine, and obviously the new year marks the anniversary," she added.

"It's been difficult for everybody and obviously for Katherine's family. They've been through so much this year and I just hope we can put an end to this now."




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