Britain Asks Thai Authorities To DNA Test Professor in Kirsty JonesMurder Enquiry

Bangkok, July 23 2011

Sunday Express

BBC Wales


British police have asked the Department of Special Investigations to DNA test a Thai University professor to rule him out of an investigation into who killed and raped a young Welsh university graduate in Chiang Mai.

Officers of Dyfed-Powys Police in Mid-Wales, seeking closure on the brutal attack on 23-yr-old Kirsty Jones in the Aree Guest House in Chiang Mai in August 2000, wish to clear up ‘rumours’ relating to the Professor which have been widely broadcast on the internet.

The move follows the DSI’s reluctance three years ago to follow a British request to do a mass DNA  testing in the Chiang Mai area.

The lecturer in question, it has been alleged, was the ‘second man’ seen hanging around outside the Aree guest house in the early hours of the morning she was murdered. 

The person reportedly accompanying him, a Thai tourist policeman, has already been DNA tested and did not match the DNA profile of the killer.

The mother of Kirsty Jones and Welsh police officer Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins (on the left in the picture with a Scene of Crimes officer in Chiang Mai) and Detective Superintendent Steve Hughson of Dyfed-Powys police have been frustrated at the lack of progress in the investigation which in 2005 was handed over to the DSI by Chiang Mai police. The matter was raised in the British parliament.

Both the DSI and Dyfed-Powys police have a complete DNA profile of who they believe is the killer. The profile is of a man of Asian origin which was known even when Thai police were arresting a series of foreigners.

The request for a new DNA test was made several weeks ago after an Australian former resident of Chiang Mai made the claims on video which he put up on YouTube . He has stated he is willing to talk to Australian Federal Police.

British police are cautious of the latest ‘lead’. The claims come from a foreigner who became totally disenfranchised with the country after his stay here and may be mendacious. Other items which he put up on the internet would almost certainly result in a charge of lese majeste if he were to return.

The Australian submitted a short on-camera video onto Youtube identifying where the academic works and stated: 

‘I have enough reason to believe he killed the Welsh lady back in 2000. He is the younger brother of the Inspector of Tourist Police at the time of the murder. The DSI have all the details but they will not act in case I was wrong.  I will not remove this from the internet until the British Embassy oversees a DNA test of the lecturer.’

The video was captioned: ‘How to Get Thai Police to Solve a Murder’.  The video has now been removed from the internet.

Contacted by email the Australian said he knew the tourist policeman very well. In fact the policeman’s girlfriend became his girlfriend. His motorbike was in the policeman’s name and his son used to borrow it a lot.

He said he gave the policeman a CD with copies of newspaper stories referring to a tourist policeman being at the murder scene at the time with another person.

The Aree Guest House. It has now been renamed.

Following that, he said, that the University professor had turned up uninvited many times when he was talking to his friendly policeman.  On the last occasion, he said, the professor had invited him to a party, but he refused, because he was scared to go, and the professor smacked him hard twice on his leg.  The policeman intervened and told the University professor to ‘cool it’.

He said he had confronted the lecturer with the accusation. The professor had reacted angrily and this was part of his decision to leave Thailand.

Tourist police dining out at a German restaurant in Chiang Mai in 2000

The tourist policeman in question was and is very well known to foreign bar owners in Chiang Mai, and is known for dropping in at many bars and guest houses for a drink.

Nearly two years ago he was filmed for the British TV series ‘Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand’ helping foreigners with their problems in Chiang Mai, but the producers say they had to drop most of the footage because he did not fit in with the programme and image of police it was attempting to portray.

Police hope the Professor will voluntarily provide samples for DNA testing. That way, Glynn and Sue Jones, the parents of the murdered girl , Gareth, her brother, Welsh police would not lose further sleep believing that not every stone had been turned.

Kirsty’s mother (right), Mrs Sue Jones, from Tredomen, Brecon visited Thailand in 2005 with Dyfed-Powys Police in the hope of creating new interest in the enquiry. 

All said they were impressed with the hospitality and sympathy afforded by the Thai people, but remained puzzled as to why the murder could not be solved.

The original investigation into the murder of Kirsty Jones was marred by a series of incidents after which a British Embassy official, was quoted by the ‘Nation’ as saying the investigation was ‘shambolic’. The Embassy later denied it had issued such a statement.

Press and non-forensic police were allowed to trample over the crime scene, a Karen tourist guide claimed he was kidnapped and tortured by police in an attempt to extract a confession. The owner  of the guest house Briton Andy Gill, and the manager Surin Chanpranet, were initially jointly charged with the murder, but had to be released when they did not fit the DNA match.

To cap it all Chiang Mai police at one stage enraged public sentiment in Britain when they issued a speculative statement saying Ms Jones was probably a willing participant until her guest demanded anal sex which she refused.

Later it was revealed that Andy Gill has been sent £12,000 by his father to help with his release. Chiang Mai provincial police, reacting to the report in the British press, later held a press conference to say that ‘Mem’ Kasemjit, Gill’s one-time girlfriend, stole the cash.

Andy Gill’s girlfriend ‘Mem’ with the cash. She is now married to a Scot and lives in the U.K

In a speech to the British Parliament in June 2007 Roger Williams, M.P. for Brecon said he was unhappy with the work done on the case by the DSI.

‘Dyfed-Powys police have constantly to suggest lines of enquiry to the DSI,’ he said, ‘It is a constant struggle to obtain accurate information from the Thai authorities. It appears that action takes place only after pressure is placed on the Thai authorities by the UK Police, the family, or the Foreign Office.

‘I have come here to ask (the British Government) to lobby the Thai authorities to put maximum effort into bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice, bring closure to the family and make Thailand a safer place for young people and tourists to visit.’

He said Kirsty’s parents had asked him to express their frustration adding that a request by Welsh Police for a mass DNA screening in the Chiang Mai area had never materialised.

Ian McCartney, Britain’s Minister of State, Trade and Investment, said he wished to assure the family that an investigation into the murder continued.  He would not wish to comment on the professionalism of foreign police forces. ‘I need to maintain good relations’.

He wished to remind Parliament of the mission statement of the British Foreign Office – ‘To work for UK interests in a safe, just, and prosperous world.’

23 thoughts on “Britain Asks Thai Authorities To DNA Test Professor in Kirsty JonesMurder Enquiry

  1. The suspicions surrounding the university lecturer have been in circulation for several years and indeed were aired on expat fora and your blog in the past.
    Things do move slowly it seems. As I recall the "" mendacious "" informant started a thread on Thaivisa at least 3 years ago when he disclosed the lecturer as a suspect and his relationship to the local police. The point is, why have we waited until now for a formal and public request from the authorities? Why despite the intervention of 3 ambassadors have we still got no further ahead? Contrast this seeming impotence of an ineffectual UK FCO with, say, the Thai response to the seizure of an aircraft in Germany.
    The bottom line is, the British simply have not accorded this case with the importance it should have had and in drifting along in their typically incompetent manner they are just too damned mealy mouthed to tell the Thai to get off their arses or suffer the consequences.
    The options are there but the FCO and the British government haven't got the balls to exercise them: suspending the issue of official visas to the Thai could be a start.
    Nothing comes from nothing.

  2. Apologies for the pedantry, but I think you may mean disenchanted, not disenfranchised.

  3. Crusader: Yes, certainly disenchanted.
    Westerby: Yes this has been out there for a long time. Its a bit difficult demanding a DNA test from someone who may be totally innocent.
    On the other hand stranger things have happened in Thailand and if he is innocent and willing to submit this line of thought will go away.More recently the informant supplied information which made it necessary to rule his allegations out if nothing else

  4. Having heard how DNA samples were obtained in order to confirm Bin Ladens identity how hard would it be to do same in this case?

  5. I knew Andy Gill and Mam. She was coerced by the police into saying she took money, not a judge, that was paid by Andy's father to secure his release.

    Discussion has long centered on the tourist policeman who calls himself T (name removed). He once attempted to ""help"" me when I was very drunk in a bar, but luckily the other foreigners there would have none of it. T's help often involved losing a lot of money one way or the other to the police.

    Clearly Kirsty's killer has police protection — otherwise why would an Englishman be arrested when the DNA was Asian?

    If T was at the Aree Guest house that night before her body was discovered, this is indeed a bad sign

  6. Yes. Mem told me that too. But the Provincial police went on the offensive with me when I produced copies of the cash transactons from the father. Suffice it so say Dad did not get his money back

  7. And thank you Andrew for keeping this case alive. What has it been now — 11 years?!

    If the fellow you say could be ""mendacious"" is the same one I'm thinking of, I would characterize him more like freaked out. What on earth he was doing hanging around with the tourist policeman T, I don't know, but he certainly came to believe that he was in possession of information that would solve the murder of Kirsty Jones.

    I recall a thread running on the Citylife magazine website about six years ago when this guy was trying to make his information known.

    To his credit, he is still at it, as we all should be until this whole grotesque story is closed and the killer is brought to justice.

  8. A few years ago I spent several unnerving nights in the company of the infamous ""T"" including one at the party of a very wealthy Thai woman and patron of his in Chiang Mai, which was also attended by a number of other police officers some in uniform, some not. Totally out of the blue, a very drunk ""T""(he'd been downing whisky after whisky, was on duty and due back on patrol that same night) introduced anal sex with women into the conversation, using two fingers to illustrate the act. It was out of context, abusive in the way he talked about it and evident that he had a personal interest in the subject. I formed the impression from his connections and behaviour at the gathering that ""T"" is considered a useful, low-level functionary rather than being a big cheese himself. He knows where he is in the pecking order and how to serve his betters. Westerby's allusion to a recent international incident which was successfully concluded is spot on. The biggest lie in Thailand is that a smile goes a long way. The Jones family will have been advised of Thai sensitivities, the Thai culture, etc etc ad nauseam. Obfuscation aided and abetted by people who haven't got a clue how Thailand really works. Rape and murder should be reviled and justice sought untiringly wherever you go in the world – regardless of who it's committed by and against.

  9. Why wait years waiting for police to collect dna? In the US you can hire an investigator to collect dna for under $300. Chewing gum, cigarette butt, used tissue, toothbrush, floss, fork/spoon or drinking glass are all suitable. All are easily collected after a few days of surveillance or in the suspect's garbage.

  10. Bengt Cooper: If Dyfed-Powys police were not convinced that the DNA (from sperm) they have is the DNA of the killer you would almost lead me to suspect Mr T. You of course remember the police detective who insisted that the sperm could have been obtained on the street (from a transvestite or gay prostitute) and introduced to the crime scene later.
    If both Thai policeman thought the same, well it does not bear thinking about. But I seem to remember Dyfed Powys chaps saying the sperm could not be articially introduced as Thai police said it could. I am sure they have an explanation for that

  11. Exactly randolp…and like anything would be done with the sample when obtained that was useful. Your strategy should be used to gain an independent sample, then disclosed internationally to embarrass them all. There is a job for Drummond.

  12. Indeed, even cops do such surrepticious DNA sampling of discarded material. If nothing else, it would turn certain local's lives into a paranoid mess if they knew someone was interested in collecting a single hair or some dead skincells sneared on a tissue.

  13. the police and the embassy did all they could. even blair raised it in parliament.

    but we aren't in gun boat politics anymore. countries like tahiland tell us what to do notthe other way round. they hold too much of western debt

    'if you're ten months behind with your mortgage payments but the bank is still not repossessing you don't raise two fingers to your bank manager when you see him walking down the street, do you? it's all yes sir no sir stuff'

    same here, we have no clout

  14. I assume the sperm sample taken from the victim was found within the body and deposited when she was alive.If so, it will react differently during tests to sperm that may have been introduced post mortem. That the Thai police could suggest a successful contamination was possible doesn't surprise me – they either think everyone is as stupid as they might hope or they themselves are just plain ignorant.
    Forensic science can be so inconvenient to the Thai who often prefer an outcome that suits an agenda not normally associated with good police work.

  15. the days of sending in a gunboat ended at suez

    the west is ineffectual dealing with certain countries because of the countries that actually own the west's debt now

    sad but true, the reality is that for that reason our standards and principles go out of the window. the thai germany spat shows who the stronger party is

  16. Andrew, you mention 'Big Trouble In Thailand' which I produced. I should say in Mr T's defence that in April 2008 I filmed him and his partner called to a Chiang Mai bar in the early hours to assist a Western female tourist who was drunk and incapable. The officers gently helped the woman, who was very much the worse for wear, along the street, into the back of their police car and delivered her safely back to her hotel. Mr T was at pains to stress on camera how fortunate she was to have the tourist police, knights in shining armour, come to her aid – or words to that effect – as Chiang Mai could be perilous for a woman in such a vulnerable situation after dark. Mr T said he often found himself rescuing foreign women like this, and the Thai tourist police could be relied upon to help such a damsel in distress.

  17. Newbie: gunboat diplomacy doesn't come into it. This is about bringing a killer to justice, a man who poses a continuing threat to society and whose time on the run is up. Thailand is rightly proud of the hospitality it offers foreign guests in the kingdom. Jet ski scams are one thing, but no decent Thai citizen would wish to see this particularly heinous crime against such a trusting visitor go unpunished. At long last Kirsty's murder is on the verge of being solved – the man responsible is a hair's breadth (probably quite literally) from being caught. The Thai police aren't going to wait for a vigilante to deliver the damning DNA – that would be an unaffordable loss of face.

  18. Luke Klung. You're right about this not being a case of gunboat diplomacy. If it is pre-ordained the killer may not get caught in Thailand then it is pre-ordained.
    I am not that optimistic that this is near the end of the case. But I do believe that all RTP false leads may be because someone is being protected.

  19. my reference to gunboat diplomacy was to make the point we just don't have the clout anymore (i assume you had my email andrew explaining why i can't go into detail)

    as for ""whose time on the run is up. Thailand is rightly proud of the hospitality it offers foreign guests in the kingdom. but no decent Thai citizen would wish to see this particularly heinous crime against such a trusting visitor go unpunished. At long last Kirsty's murder is on the verge of being solved

    1. yes most thais – the vast majority – are very decent people
    2. this is not on the verge of being solved
    3. the time on the run is up – who exactly? you realise the dna is asian.

  20. We delude ourselves if we think this case is on the point of being solved. The owner of that DNA knows full well that the authorities are not going to lose face by admitting at this late point that they have long been harboring a scumbag with good connections. Rather, hopefully these farang-generated rumors will continue to mess with his head. Hopefully, he will kill himself. And that's not exactly part of the well-off local male constitution, is it? Thai authorities are worse than useless in matters of justice. Looking at a few recent major cases concerning Dyfed-Powys Constabulary, they have a good record of not giving up on long-term difficult cases. But unless elite Thais are prepared to begin helping themselves to act like normal fair-minded human beings, our two techs are basically pissing against the wind.

  21. The Thai police have done their bit, I think we can be sure of that. And bringing the killer to justice is another matter, down the road. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Does the DNA of the man whose name is currently in the frame match that of the killer? Knowing Thailand as I do, I think it's a question which can be easily answered. Where there's a will, of course, there's a way. Of course, if there is no match then it's back to Square One. But right now the ball is in whose court exactly? Direct action this day!

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