The brother of a Perth travel agent fatally stabbed during a botched bag-snatch in Phuket says he hopes the murderer is sentenced to death.
"It might sound callous but I hope he gets the death penalty," Alan Gordon said yesterday.
Thai man Surasak "Boy" Suwannachot, 26, pleaded guilty yesterday to stabbing mother-of-three Michelle Smith twice in the chest when she refused to hand over her bag during the attack on June 20.
The Phuket News reported that his accomplice Surin Tadtong, 37, who had been riding the getaway motorcycle, admitted throwing away the knife used in the attack but initially denied the other charges against him of conspiracy to rob and assisting in a murder.
The men, both wearing brown prison uniforms and ankle chains, faced trial before two judges at Phuket Provincial Court seven weeks after Ms Smith was killed.
The 60-year-old was stabbed as she and other Perth travel agents, who were on the Thai island for a familiarisation trip, walked back to their resort after dinner.
Surasak, who was on bail on other charges at the time of the attack, confirmed a confession he had earlier made to police.
Although Surin had allegedly admitted his guilt to police, he wanted to plead not guilty in court. He told the judges he had been unaware Surasak had planned any criminal activity as they rode around near the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort where Smith and nine other Australian travel agents were staying.
He pleaded guilty after being repeatedly pressed by the judges, who promised him a fair hearing and a reduced sentence.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.