School director who killed three people during gold shop robbery sentenced to death by Thai court
A school director, who killed 3 people, including a young boy, while stealing about 665,000 baht worth of gold ornaments from a shop in Thailand’s central province of Lop Buri in January, was sentenced to death by the Criminal Court on Wednesday.
According to the public prosecutor, the defendant, 38-year old Prasitthichai Khaokaew, then director of a primary school in Sing Buri, robbed the Orora gold shop, in the Robinson shopping mall, on January 9th this year.
During the robbery, the defendant used his semi-automatic pistol, equipped with a silencer, to kill Mr. Thirachat Nimma, a security guard, and Ms. Thidarat Thongthip, a shop employee. A stray bullet also killed youngster Panuwit Wongyoo.
In sentencing the defendant to death, the court refuted his claim that the robbery was not premeditated and was due to his debt problems. The Court but decided that the robbery had been planned in advance, citing the fact that his pistol was equipped with a silencer.
The Court also dismissed the defendant’s claim that the death of the boy was accidental, noting that that the same bullet that killed the security guard also killed the boy.
The defendant’s appeal for leniency, citing his previous good character, was also rejected by the court on the grounds that he did not give up voluntarily, but was captured by the police while attempting to evade arrest and that his confession was not “helpful”.