‘Look at me in the eyes’: Heartbroken father of British boy confronts man who ‘confessed’ to his murder in Thailand
A convicted criminal involved in drug dealing has confessed to killing a British teenager whose body was found badly beaten in a forest in Thailand, local police have said.
Woramet Ben Taota was beaten to death after he went missing from his home in Lampang, northern Thailand on Saturday.
On Tuesday Ben’s father was taken to the scene of the death where he confronted the accused. Local media report Mr Graham yelled at the killer: “Take his mask off, I want to see his face, you’re a coward. You’re a coward. F**king at me you b***ard.”
Mr Graham then shouted: ‘Scum, look at me in the eye, look at me in the eye, you b***ard’.
The 16-year-old, a dual national known to his family as Ben, was found dead in a grove in the Ban Than district on Sunday morning, having sustained blunt force trauma injuries to his face and head.
Investigators arrested Chaiwat Boonkarin, 44, after finding Ben’s body. Boonkarin, known to the victim for a “long time”, was released from prison eight months ago.
He confessed to killing the victim after a drug deal went wrong and has been charged with murder, Thai media reports.
Officers investigating the killing discovered that Ben’s phone and money were missing from his shoulder bag when he was found, suggesting he had been robbed.
Local media reported that Ben was found by a rubbish collector who was working in the area at the time. Officers later found other belongings, including a smartphone charger and his ID card and bank card.
Detectives believe he may have been killed elsewhere and dumped at the spot where he was found, slumped against a tree.
Police searched for Ben’s girlfriend, Yam, also 16, thought to have been one of the last people to see him alive.
She was found safe and has been ruled out as a person of interest in the case by police.
Police are also seeking a girl, Suraphltchaya Khamsa, 16, who officers believe was also romantically linked to the British teenager.
The superintendent of the Mae Tha Police said Woramet was found with blood stains “all over his face”.
“The face and head were found to have been beaten with a hard object until swelling and bruising was caused and there was also a deep wound in his face. The body has been taken to hospital for an autopsy,” Police Colonel Sittisak Singtongla said.
Police said Ben had said goodbye to his mother on Saturday evening and said he was “going to work with friends”.
Pictures on the victim’s social media show him riding motorcycles and competing in competitions. It is understood he was a keen motocross rider.
Ben’s grandmother Lilian Graham said her grandson was born following a long-distance romance between her son Steve and the boy’s mother, who is known as Ooy Taota.
She told MailOnline: “Steve met Ben’s mum Ooy when he was in Thailand on holiday with friends. She became pregnant and Steve went back many times.
“I went out to visit them as well. I really love it out there. But they lived too far apart and sadly their relationship didn’t work out. But Steve and me really loved Ben. He was really special. A real character.”