“The foreigner got in the way”: Thai gangster apologises for shooting British tourist as he aimed at rival

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The Thai man who shot a British tourist at a New Year beach party has apologised for killing him.

Ekkapan Kaewkla told a court he was aiming at rival gangsters when Stephen Ashton, 22, was hit.

Kaewkla, 26, appeared in court today accused of premeditated murder and possession of a weapon.

He told the court on Koh Samui island: “I was aiming at someone else but the foreigner got in the way.”

He also told reporters he wanted to apologise to Stephen’s family.

The court remanded Kaewkla in custody.

He could be detained for up to 84 days while prosecutors consider whether to reduce his murder charge to manslaughter.

City trader Stephen, of Purley, South London, was shot while dancing on a beach at Koh Phangan during a New Year Full Moon Party when a fight broke out between two gangs.

He was struck by a bullet in his chest.

Stephen’s sister Emily, 20, said she did not believe the family, including mum Diane, 48, would be travelling to Thailand to identify him.

She said: “I’ve got a family member who was in Thailand at the time on another island so he is still out there waiting to hear if there is anything he needs to do.

“From what we’re aware at the moment, we won’t need to go to Thailand.”

Stephen had set out on a gap year and planned to travel to Australia.

Stephen’s friends, who were at the same party, are due to return home today.

From: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/stephen-ashton-shooting-thai-gangster-1517187