Daily Telegraph July 3rd 2005
She was executed. Bang, bang, bang
By Andrew Drummond in Kanchanaburi
The father of Vanessa Arscott, a British backpacker who was allegedly
‘executed’ last year after seeing her boyfriend killed by a Thai
policeman, made an impassioned plea for justice at a murder trial
Graham Arscott, 57, told judges in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, that his daughter was shot on what was to be her engagement day.
Accused of murder: Sergeant Somchai Wisetsingh
‘We had heard through her sister that Vanessa thought that her boyfriend
Adam would propose marriage to her on September 8, 2004,’ he said.
‘They were in love and looking forward to their future lives
together. September 8 was their first anniversary of being together, but
Adam was murdered and Vanessa was executed instead.
‘Bang, bang, bang; it was just like that,’ said Mr Arscott a retired pharmaceutical salesman from Ashburton, Devon.
He said Vanessa, 23, a psychology graduate, was shot at close range
as she clung to a pylon halfway between the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’
and the Commonwealth war cemetery in Kanchanaburi early on Sept 9.
Mr Arscott said that after the murders he went to Thailand to find out for himself what had happened.
‘I spoke to many Thai people and many witnesses. They were genuinely
upset at what happened and they all said that Police Sergeant Somchai
Wisetsingh did it.
‘There were some 16 witnesses to the murder.
‘I asked them if they would testify but they said they were afraid.
They said they lived near Somchai Wisetsingh. They said they feared they
would get shot.
‘My daughter died in a particularly horrible way. We are looking for
justice. We respect the court here and I am confident we will find
As Mr Arscott stood in the witness box for 45 minutes giving evidence
about a daughter who he said loved children and animals and made
hundreds of friends, Wisetsingh sat head bowed looking at the floor.
The master sergeant, who was awarded the title of Kanchanaburi’s most
outstanding policeman in 2004, is charged with murdering Adam Lloyd,
25, and Miss Arscott.
He is said to have killed Mr Lloyd with two shots from a Smith and
Wesson .38 pistol, then to have run over Miss Arscott in his Volvo car,
dragging her 80 yards along a road before shooting her in the neck,
mouth and chest.
On the charge of murdering a witness to cover up a crime he faces the mandatory death penalty.
For the past four months a succession of witnesses has described how
Miss Arscott and Mr Lloyd visited Wisetsingh’s S&S Restaurant in
Kanchanaburi where he was said to have joined them for drinks. An
argument developed and Miss Arscott left to go home to her guest house,
the court was told.
Mr Lloyd and Wisetsingh followed, but they had a fight which it
appeared Mr Lloyd won, leaving Wisetsingh with a broken rib and a black
Mr Lloyd was said to have run towards Miss Arscott but a short while
later witnesses heard two shots and found his body on the ground near a
motorcycle repair shop.
Witnesses also testified that they saw Wisetsingh’s car dragging Miss
Arscott along the road, before the driver opened the door and fired
three bullets into her.
Because no witness will identify Wisetsingh specifically as the man
who fired the gun, police are relying heavily on scientific evidence,
specifically bullets found in the victims’ bodies.
Blood, hair and skin from Miss Arscott was found under the Volvo and blood from Mr Lloyd was discovered on the bodywork.
Brian Lloyd, 58, from Torquay, told the court: ‘My son was a very
easygoing individual in very good health who had many friends and a
‘Our family can never be the same again. I would like to see this man punished under the full penalty of the law.’
Wisetsingh’s defence is due to open on March 29.
* She was executed. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Daily Telegraph July 3rd 2005