AN ANGRY crowd of Australian and other foreign tourists, along with Thai locals, had to be held back from attacking two Thai men accused of murdering 60-year-old Perth mother-of-three Michelle Smith.
The two men, Surasak ''Boy'' Suwannachot, 26, and alleged
accomplice Surin Taptong, 34, had been brought to the upmarket Kata Noi Beach
where Mrs Smith was murdered to re-enact the brutal killing under police direction.
When she was attacked, Mrs Smith had been returning to the
Katathani Phuket Beach Resort after dinner with companion Tammee Lynn, 42. Both
were in Thailand with a group of Perth travel agents.
One Australian had to be restrained by Thai police from
one of the accused men.
''I was just so angry,'' Tony Clarke, 52, a tall, strongly built
man, told Fairfax Media at the scene yesterday where Mrs Smith was stabbed
through the heart last Wednesday.
''Most Thais are beautiful people, but you also have a bad
As other tourists, including many from Australia, swam in
rolling surf nearby, Mr Clarke and his partner, Deborah Lewis, 50, were in no
mood to relax.
Instead, they watched in fury as the two men under police
direction re-enacted the killing.
Surasak got off the back of the purple motorcycle Surin
Taptong was controlling and stabbed Mrs Smith when she resisted having her
Ms Lynn was slashed and required stitches.
Two young Thai women yesterday played the parts of the victims
as an angry crowd looked on.
As a sign of the seriousness with which Thailand regards
this latest case, there has been direct involvement by the country's Prime
Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra. And the Commissioner General of the Royal Thai
Police came to Phuket from Bangkok in the wake of the arrests of Surasak and
Surin. They were both arrested on Monday on the mainland after fleeing Phuket.
Mr Clarke said of Mrs Smith: ''She was the life and soul
of the party. She would have fought. I was so close to hitting him [Surasak]
because of what he did to her. I was going to punch him in the head.
''The Thai people here are mostly so good. I have a
friend, Bob, whose mother was a best friend of Michelle Smith. They knew each
other since their youth. I was moving to belt him [accused murderer Surasak]
but the police held me back. I really wanted to punch him. The local people
were with me and other Australians here. They were saying, 'Get him, get
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