An inquest is to be held in Britain into a British prisoner who was allegedly beaten to death in Nong Plalai prison, Pattaya – just days after he was admitted for stealing a motorcycle.

Sean Patrick Flanagan, 57, was arrested on March 21st in the resort on Thailand’s eastern seaboard, for stealing a Yamaha motorcycle in Soi Bua Khao, Pattaya. The theft was caught on CCTV.

He was remanded in custody to Nong Plalai Prison , Pattaya, but within a few days was dead. Official reports said he went mad and fell while climbing bars in the prison.

British prisoners who were witnesses in a building known as Dan 5 however have given a different story. They say he was beaten to death by other prisoners.

The witnesses, William Horsfell and Frank Tony Vasco Kanomi, have since been released. It is understood from statements that Flanagan suffered acute claustrophobia and began screaming after being taken into Dan 5.  He was attacked by inmates when he refused to shut up.

He was then taken to a prison hospital section, Dan 6, an even smaller room where  he was said to have again he gone berserk.  Again he was beaten. He did not recover from his injuries. Prisoners were allegedly told to say that he died from a fall.

Flanagan from Barrow-on-Furness in Cumbria was a former pupil of St.Benard”s School.

In the North West Evening Mail a close friend Mark Bates paid tribute writing “RIP my friend and Barrow legend.

“Many good nights in Barrow and Thailand. My deepest sympathies to all of the family – he was a legend in life and that will always live on in all those who knew him.
“A true rock ‘n’ roller who judged no-one and always had a smile for all.”

British prison visitor Ian Tracey said:

“Deaths in Nong Plalai are not uncommon. One a week is the norm. Usually people are dying from AIDS or tuberculosis but there is the occasional murder. One reported suicide was clearly a murder because the man had his hands tied behind his back when he was found hanging. He was said to be a police informant.”

And a former prisoner writes:
“I was in the same prison about 4 years ago for about a week and about a month before that the exact same thing happened as described. If you keep the inmates awake you will be beaten to death. The problem arises in that many new inmates are going through severe drug withdrawals and can’t keep still. I also knew Sean.  The issue is that farang (foreigners) shouldn’t be kept in those cells for minor crimes such as overstay and especially when going through drug withdrawals”.

The inquest into his death will be held in Barrow Town Hall on May 8th. Witnesses may contact the local Coroner’s Office at this link.


  1. Mr Drummond, I am the sister of Sean Patrick Flanagan,on whom you have recently reported regarding his upcoming inquest etc.. I would personally like to thank you for bringing much needed attention to my brothers tragic case and Im sure many similar cases. It is true that some inmates struggle with drug dependendency whilst incarcerated in these hellholes. My brother, whom I deeply loved, had overcome the challenges that heroin and methadone had brought, in the end his addiction was to Valium, which I understand it fairly standard for people with his medical history. He was such a kind and generous soul, non-judgemental and totally forgiving, he did not deserve his fate. Our wonderful mum Mrs Olive Blamire has fought a daily battle with the British Foreign Office every step of the way in our fight for justice for the last 2 years and more. In essence, they were at best uncaring and at worst dismissive of his death. 46 years old he was….. maybe if he had been someone of 'importance' he may have mattered or at the very least been someone interesting…. one can only speculate. I must say that the local homicide squad in Barrow-in-Furness, in particular Mr Robert Quazi have been unfailingly supportive, truly amazing….. But the point of my correspondence is that Foreign Policy has to change where it is considered that a British Citizens life is at risk, there should be some initiative in place in which a member of the British Consulate has the power to declare an immediate medical emergency for a British National where they consider that they need urgent medical attention, as was apparent in Seans case (as when visisted by the British Consulate Representative he was unable to communicate to her of what had happened to him as he was in agony from his injuries (pathologist report later found 10 broken ribs alone). As of today, we understand that a prisoner from Pattaya Jail has been charged with manslaughter, witnesses have made statements…. Will it bring Sean back? No, of course not, but if the British Consulate would put in place directives where British citizens could be cared for and protected then surely this would be a step in the right direction…..and may have saved my brothers life.
    Paula McKimm (Flanagan)

Comments are closed.