Flying Sporran’s Weekend Diary –

The energy which is being put in by Koh Samui police to prosecute a young Australian student who was badly beaten up on Koh Samui is sending alarm bells through the foreign community – if not the student’s mother Annie Hansen.

Koh Samui police are charging Jack Hansen-Bartel, a former scholarship student at the New International School of Thailand, with a misdemeanor and with (common) assault.

This follows a long presence on the island of Raymond Nobu Chang, the father of Raymond Chang (junior) who together with Ryan Wang, are accused of a brutal attack on Hansen-Bartel in a club on island in June.

Raymond Nobu Chang, an extremely wealthy Chinese businessman is due to attend the John F Kennedy School of Government in Harvard.

While asking the Koh Samui court for the return of the passports of his son and that of Wang, both of whom had just graduated the ‘Shanghai American School’  Mr. Chang (senior) said he had been tipped by Fortune Magazine in 2000 as one of the twenty-five Next Generation Global Leaders under 40.

Having not yet achieved this status, this may be why he is attending the Harvard Kennedy School.

Raymond Chang (senior)

He further added: “We are willing to meet any further additional which you may deem necessary to grant the removal his travel restriction.”

Jack Hansen-Bartel, from Mentone, Melbourne, Victoria, was knocked unconscious in the attack and said his mother in her letter to a Shanghai American school pupil, who called on the two Chinese-American students to own up apologise and compensate, had to undergo facial surgery which will continue for another year.

Chang (jun) and Wang

Raymond Nobu Chang has so far had no luck with the courts, but has been more successful with the police, who flew to Bangkok to investigate Jack, albeit in the presence of army officials of the National Council for Peace and Order, who said they wished to re-assure the mother that everything would be ‘transparent’.

So actually policemen, or maybe some others, are putting a lot more into the prosecution of Jack – a ‘model student’ at NIST, than into the investigation of the two wealthy American-Chinese, who now we are being asked to believe went to the aid of a supposed damsel in distress.

This half New Zealand half Japanese girl will feature prominently in all the trials if she returns to give evidence, but she is now attending Fordham University in the United States.

The costs of prosecuting Jack have already far exceeded the penalties he is likely to receive even if he is convicted. Misdemeanour fine 500 baht – 1000 baht, assault causing no physical harm, maybe 1000-2000 fine. The Thai tax payer has to pay that…perhaps. But that may not be the point. Koh Samui police could say that they are being even handed.

NCPO officers with Koh Samui policeman in Bangkok

The fear is that of course that somebody might be trying the well tested theory that the more money you throw at a case the more likely you are to win. This seems to work quite well in Thailand. But Mrs Hansen has confidence that she can prove her son was totally innocent.
Now Annie has to pay lawyers and fly them and her son down to this holiday island to face cases against her son which were not pressed until a full month after the alleged attack – the day the two American-Chinese were refused their passports.

They had told the court in letters that they loved Thailand so much that they were renting a villa in Koh Samui for 12 months as ‘this address’.  This address turned out to be a lawyer’s office and belonging to one of Koh Samui’s more famous ones.

Below is the comment on this story (republished) from Luke Kao a student at the Shanghai American School and promising film maker,  who tells his classmates to own up and apologies and the reply from Anne Hansen. The families of the two American Chinese boys have not commented publicly.

From Luke Kao

As a Shanghai American School alumnus of the same graduating class as Ryan Wang and Raymond Tony Chang, I would like to apologize for the actions of my peers. Please know that their actions are in no way representations of the average Shanghai American School student or the average Chinese-American youth; we really are better than this (although it might be hard to believe now). I don’t know how or why the altercation happened, but I do know that the right thing for Raymond and Ryan to do right now is to owe up to their actions, apologize, and compensate. The moronic behaviors and bad choices of two boys and one of their fathers does not reflect us, and I hope I have salvaged Shanghai American School’s reputation, even if by a marginal amount. So once again, sorry for the mindless and brutal actions of the two individuals I shamefully call my peers.

Dear Luke,

My name is Annie Hansen and I am Jacks mother. 9 weeks ago now my son was attacked by two SAS students.

Since that time my sons’ days have been filled with medical examinations, treatment, tears, pain and visits to the lawyers office. His speech is affected- as it turns out that one requires front teeth to verbally communicate clearly, he is unable to sleep through a night as he has nightmares and experiences pain and must get up to take pain relief normally once a night, sometimes twice. This pain intensifies if his head is not elevated for any length of time.

Jack was an avid sports player and has been his entire life. All Jack has known since the age of 2 was sport. To roll or kick around a ball- be it football basketball or an Australian Rules football. Any birthday was usually an arranged sports day with friends any spare time was either out at the football field, local basketball court or the fitness centre. I always encouraged this side of Jack as living a healthy and active life meant that he was completely adverse to drugs and he had stayed away from alcohol until recently as well. Jack now lives in a world that is unable to accommodate these active outside hobby’s anymore. So frankly he is lost. 

Jack modeled part time since around the age of 8. He took various jobs that were fairly high paying for someone that did not look to this world as a serious full time career path. It gave him pocket money to save for the special times in his life such as the two trips he took to Samui in early June. He valued this money very much and was always reluctant to spend what he had earned. I used to tell Jack he was a bit “tight”.

In May, Jack advised me that the best time of his life was about to come up. I asked him what this meant. He replied that that period of time between graduation and between starting university all of his friends in Bangkok were getting together, without the shackles of study and exams; just to simply enjoy each others company and strengthen life long bonds before each one departed for their own charted course.

Jack sits at home or in specialists’ offices these days (and nights) knowing each day what his friends are doing – often only sois away from where he is. He knows that this “best ” time of his life has been taken away.

Jack is faced with the inevitable, unavoidable fact that he faces a year to a year and a half of surgeries to reconstruct his mouth. These surgeries will be very painful for him and there is a recovery period between each one. He is advised that he can only ever expect an 80% recovery.

Jack has lived in Bangkok 15 years. Since he was a blonde haired, skinny, happy, kind hearted boy playing with all the Thai kids in the soi and speaking fluent Thai in 6 months of arriving in the country. Life here was, as a Buddhist, quite easy for Jack to navigate and, whereas many foreigners live a superimposed life as an expat in Bangkok, Jack was completely immersed in Thai life and had never had any trouble in 15 years.

My friends often commented on how incredibly lucky I was to have such a good and decent kid. This sense of decency is what earned him a part scholarship at NIST International School
Jacks Facebook isnt about starting business and becoming an entrepreneur or luxurious holidays in Turkey or South Africa. 

It has always been about friends, what sports team is playing, what last nights scores were, anything he had volunteered for recently with Operation Smile etc. Very basic stuff for a really salt of the earth, genuine young man .

You can imagine how unexpected the phone call from a hospital was on the morning of the 10th of June at 3am. You can imagine how when both attackers were identified, located and brought to the station by police, our surprise that they had not one scratch or mark on them. You can imagine our surprise when 6 weeks aft er my sons attack and with nowhere else left to go, two charges were laid against HIM by his attackers.  

The charges arose approx 2 hours after the judge had declared that the attackers had breached their bail conditions and were informed their passports were to be “surrendered” to the court. This occurred around 11 45 am on the 24th of July and the charges were drawn up that day at 1pm. And police are now also feeling forced into charging my son with assault while admitting they have  absolutely no medical evidence of such an act.

Imagine our surprise when in the statement of charges against Jack that Jack was ALSO now found to be molesting a woman that he had been relaxing and drinking with at a bar earlier in the evening. On witnessing this apparent molestation, these two courageous and brave attackers advised that they went to her defence. 

Jack being half their size though but so incredibly intoxicated that he would not let go of Tiffany and simultaneouly hit one in the chest who fell over and the other he hit in the head. All would be extremely laughable only I know from the police staff that the father representing both boys is there at the station each day demanding Jacks head on a platter. We receive regular reports. 

Jack has a wonderful family in Australia and they have been our rock throughout his time of need. We have wonderful friends who assist us at every twist and turn and there are many, Colonel Satit has been wonderful and happy to meet or talk at a moments notice and the Militarys NCPO and their military lawyers have spent hours pouring over evidence. So we are fortunate in some ways and we know this and are very grateful. Even through all this Jack and I still try to remember those things we are grateful for.

Luke you and some of your peers who came forward early on, and some since, I call courageous. You however are the first from #Shanghai American School  to publicly say to us that you are “sorry”. 

Jack and his elder brother with army colonel and legal executives of the NCPO

Your comments made me cry. 

For the sincerity that went into them and for the kindness it illustrated. When we are dealing with very tough people like this, to see this kindness from a stranger that I know risks a lot to come out against fellow classmates – that is a big ask! I hope that in the same situation I would have the courage to write to someone in the manner you did. 

You seem like a very thoughtful and kind gentleman and remind me of Jack a lot actually.

So I just wanted to say thank you from both my son and from me. Your kindness and courage did reach from the US to Bangkok loud and clear!

#RaymondNobuChang #RyanWang @JackHansenBartel #AnnieHansen #GreenMango #KohSamui


  1. I rather think most here are well aware that the Thai justice system is oxymoronic. Of course it is an utter disgrace that charges have been brought against the victim. Of course it is utterly laughable were it not so disgustingly obscene. Of course it is a farce and one that is only played out because the assailants' father is immensely rich. No other decent, civilised country would tolerate such a travesty of justice but that is the whole point here, we are not in such a country and to expect justice, let alone common sense, is futile. Charging this lad with assault is akin to arresting a road victim for criminal damage upon the vehicle that him. Only in Thailand, only in Thailand. Stupid is as stupid does.

    1. Absolutely, Harvard University Administrators should be made aware–along with administrators with Purdue and Cornell Universities, and The US Department of Immigrations as well.
      No, "Not The American Way." Money changing hands in some nations may move mountains; however, it won't in The U.S. Financial crimes such as bribery are taken very seriously and charges even more serious. This I know as a former US law enforcement officer.

      Chinese American Mr. Raymond Noble Chang has had to good fortune to immigrate to America and make a life for himself and family, earning–I will assume–US $$, and due to having been provided acceptance to American Universities that would aid in a very bright future for Mr. Raymond Noble Chang. In any American university, opportunity waits for the correct, law abiding, moral person.

      Admission to such US universities is stringent. If a student fails to be law abiding, moral, and civil, instant expulsion occurs. There are many, many decent, honest students who would relish such opportunity to study at any of the top 10 American Universities.

      It is these Universities responsibility by policies, procedures, and laws to disallow any student with such criminal activity in his history to enter the halls.

      Mr. R. Chang's son, Mr. Raymond Anthony Chang has had the good fortune to attend Cornell University in New York, has brutalized an innocent individual and charged accordingly to evidence by Thai Police. The second assailant, Mr. Ryan Wang, is equally involved and originally charged of brutalizing Mr.Jack Hansen-Bartel as well.

      The good news is that Officers with the US Embassy, FBI attache, in Bangkok get what happens in Thailand when it comes to bribery and corruption….and seems Mr. Raymond Noble Chang does as well.

      Mr. Chang may make the slide of a hand here, and get his son and son's pal out of criminal trouble; however, The US law has a long arm. Yes, smells of violations of U.S. Foreign Corruption Practices Act of 1977. Clearly, an investigation is in order, and out of The USA, if not already in progress.

      And as the honorable opportunity to attend such prestigious US American Universities as Harvard, Cornell, and Purdue, lawful, moral, and civil conduct are of utmost importance and mandated. Brutality and bribery are not tolerated. Such students are expelled and others worthy given opportunity to study and represent such prestigious American Universities.

      Very important that this matter–and these names–are reported to Universities Harvard, Cornell, and Purdue. Administrators and Deans would want to be informed.

    1. I think it is interesting that police are playing all sides against the middle here. Mrs Hansen will not criticise the police and continues to thank them. She appears to be well up on all Mr. Chang's visits to the police station.

  2. (name withheld at request)

    Dear Andrew,

    I have been reading with horror the case of poor young Jack, what an absolute disgrace this is.

    I see that the "heroes" and their "Knight in shining armor" have insisted/pressured/persuaded the Koh Samui Police to charge Jack.

    If we are all understanding this correctly the counter claims are partly based on the statement of a "damsel in distress".

    If the law firm that I work for were representing Jack, they would seriously consider filing a Criminal Case for Defamation of Character against this girl, backed up by a Civil Case claiming damages. They would also consider the same cases against the heroes.

    Please do not think that this is in the same vain as what your adversaries do, whereby they sue you in order to try and stop you telling the truth. On the contrary such an action would be to stop the damsel and the perps, colluding and making up false & defamatory mitigating circumstances.

    If this girl has colluded and made false claims, then I wonder how far she would be willing to go, faced with the possibility of a criminal record and having her passport confiscated in Thailand awaiting trial. Plus the financial penalties that could be imposed, should a Civil Case against her for the damages caused to Jack's reputation, be successful.

    In an ideal world, such counter action should not even have to be considered, but given the obvious influence that their Knight in shining armor yields, Jack's camp may have to fight fire with fire.

  3. Here are some legal points that are relevant to young Jack's case. If the case of assault that is being placed against Jack is for allegedly assaulting one of the heroes, then there is no weight in the case because it will not detract from the fact that only "reasonable force" can be used to defend yourself.

    Smashing someones teeth out, with what we presume to be a "knuckle duster" based on the injuries shown in the pictures (the very long jagged laceration) is clearly not "reasonable force". The exact cause of the injury could possibly be proved by an expert, by using the x-rays and pictures. This most certainly doesn't look like the result of being punched with a bare fist, if it was a bare fist then the perpetrator would possibly have had extensive lacerations to their knuckles.

    If the possibility of a weapon being used has not been considered by Jack's team, then it should, because it would increase the severity of the charges against the heroes. Did the heroes visit hospital, if so were their injuries recorded for a police report? Are there any pictures of them after the fact showing hand injuries? I do not want the answers, but Jack's lawyers should really look at what medical evidence the heroes have to prove any injuries.

    The medical report prepared by a clinic or hospital for a criminal assault case is much different from the standard report/invoice that you get, should you just have injured yourself. Special criteria has to be followed for a medical report for use by the police in court. Meaning, it is no good simply going to the doctor a few days later and saying look at this, the doctor has to be informed that the medical report is for the police. There is a letter/form that the police can provide to the hospital for this very purpose.

    It is obvious that the counterclaims by the heroes, have been instigated in order that they have something to bargain with. Misdemeanor charges are hardly ever used by the police, this is because they are a waste of the courts time. So again it is highly irregular, and if the evidence has been fabricated, then the charges should be responded to. Complaints of Criminal Defamation could be reported to the same Police department, if they won't accept it, then the Criminal complaints can be filed directly to the Samui Court by Jack's legal team along with Civil cases.

    If you wish to pass any of this on to Jack's mother, post or quote any of this, then feel free. I do however wish to remain anonymous, as the discussion that just took place in the office was between the companies lawyers and represents what they might consider, if they were representing Jack.

    I sincerely hope that some of this might be useful. We all admire your ethical journalism and your willingness to report the truth!

    Best regards

    1. I agree with the above. I am not sure defamation against the you girl is the way forward, although she should certainly to be held to account for what she says in court if she appears. What is happening suggests a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. If that is being directed by an American citizen then there are other avenues open. This is not a bargaining matter as Annie Hansen seems to have made clear. No they did not go to a hospital or provide any medical report btw which makes the matter even more nonsensical. So what worries me most is that the J F Kennedy School of Government has the appearance of offering seats to those well versed in financial matters rather than the common man – and critics who say that Congress was bought a long time ago may seem well justified.

  4. The thing that has bothered me about this case right from the start is the amount of damage inflicted on Jack. Having been in more than my fair share of brawls, I can't recall ever seeing anybody receive damage like that from a few bare fisted blows. Even if you did you would have some tell tale marks on the hands of the perp.

    It way well be a knuckle-duster was used. If that is the case these guys need to do some time as that is a real gutless act to smash a guys mouth in like that, even if Jack was a little lippy after a few lagers.

    My friend who is a karate expert with hands like two canned hams once knocked out a pommy soccer hooligan who was causing trouble in Soi Bangla. This guy hit the pavement head first with a horrible thud out stone cold but the damage inflicted was nowhere near to what Jack has copped.

    That damage is like he has been cold-cocked with the butt of a pistol rather than a punch. The meddling by the father would enrage me. I agree with the mystery lawyer, if there is no evidence Jack assaulted anybody sue them for bringing false charges.

    Rather than dealing with the Samui police the father should have his hand in his pocket to pay Jack a substantial amount in compensation as well as offer a humble apology. Somehow I don't think his global vision includes admitting wrong doing.

  5. Let's hope Mr Chang takes note of the Kennedy School of Governments mission statement,

    "Harvard Kennedy School is committed to advancing the public interest. One of the most important ways we deliver on that mission is by training skilled, enlightened leaders who can really make a difference for people and their daily lives. To reach that goal, we look for students who are bright, engaged, and committed, and strive to create for them an atmosphere of opportunity, learning, and collaboration."

  6. You can assault a man, be thoroughly beaten and still be guilty of assault. If the respondent acted with unresonable force, and the bar is reasonably high on this, he can also face charges starting with assault.

    The policemen must appreciate that Jack came off worse from the encounter but that is not by itself a reason to let hin walk free of his actions. They are perfectly right, if they have evidence that he started it, to charge him with assault and let the court sift the evidence. It appears from the limited reporting that there is a witness statement to that effect and the charge is therefore legitimate, if heavy handed.

    However the implication in the reporting is that a rich Chinese guy can get Thai policemen to run around the country doing his bidding and that money talks. I have heard that before……

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