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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006, 15:25 GMT
Mother speaks out over Thai trial
Picture of Katherine Horton
Katherine Horton's body was found on 2 January
The mother of murdered Cardiff student Katherine Horton has said she does not believe her daughter's killers should be executed in Thailand.

Elizabeth Horton told BBC Wales she did not support the death penalty, but said she was not making a plea for clemency.

The trial of two fishermen accused of raping and murdering Miss Horton, 21, took place on Friday in Surat Thani.

Wichai Somkhaoyai, 24 and Bualoi Posit, 23, both admitted the charges and will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declared the men should face the maximum penalty because of damage done to the country's image.

We feel some justice for Katherine - these men can't hurt anyone else
Elizabeth Horton

But Mrs Horton told BBC Wales: "I have never believed in the death penalty. I don't believe anyone has the right to take another person's life.

"But a life sentence should mean life. The Thai authorities will deal with it as they see fit. I would not want to interfere with the Thai legal system."

She added: "I'm grateful for the way the Thai authorities found the perpetrators so quickly. We feel some justice for Katherine. These men can't hurt anyone else."

The attack took place at 2100 local time on New Year's Day, close to where Miss Horton was staying on Lamai Beach, on the island of Koh Samui.

Her body was washed up the next morning on a remote beach a few kilometres away where it was found by a water biker.

The court heard on Friday how Miss Horton was beaten with a parasol pole and later dragged out to sea off Koh Samui where she drowned.

Wichai Somkhaoyai (left) and Bualoi Posit arrive in court on Friday
The suspects appeared in court at Surat Thani on Friday

The one-day trial was told that the men had been watching pornographic films on their boat on the evening of 1 January.

They then swam ashore using plastic petrol cans as buoyancy and attacked Miss Horton on the beach as she talked to her mother on her mobile phone.

The men hit her about the head and shoulders and took turns to rape her while the other held her down, the trial heard.

After that they dragged her out to sea to a boat and used that to tow her further out, where the Reading University student drowned.

The court heard that a British tourist, Christopher Burrows, who later found Miss Horton's mobile phone on the beach, heard a faint voice calling out in English: "I'm sinking, I'm sinking."


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