Beach steps bust-up leads to charges

Beach steps bust-up leads to charges

Doctor says Phuket villa owner kicked her for ‘trespassing’ on a spot that turns out to be public land

Beach steps bust-up leads to charges
Officials and reporters inspect the steps leading to a luxurious seaside villa in Thalang district of Phuket, where a Thai woman was allegedly assaulted by a Swiss man who owns the villa. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: Police have determined that the steps to a luxurious seaside villa in Thalang district were actually built on public land, after the property’s owners were reported for assaulting a woman they claimed was “trespassing”.

Authorities inspected the villa in Cape Yamu — which is owned by a Swiss citizen and his Thai wife — and determined that they have the full title deed to the property, which details the exact boundaries of the plot.

However, they found the last few steps of the concrete stairway the couple built from the beach were actually on public land. As such, they determined that the complainant, Thandao Chandam, was not trespassing as the couple had alleged.

Officials are taking legal action against the couple, and ordered them to demolish the stairs within three days.

Dr Thandao, 26, told police that at 7.30pm on Feb 24, she and a friend had been walking along the beach after dinner and decided to take a break and sit on the steps, which they assumed were public property.

“Suddenly, I felt my whole body was shaken by force,” she said. “After regaining consciousness, I found out that I had been kicked in the back by a big foreign guy weighing about 100 kilogrammes. His face was red. He was sweating, filming a video with a mobile phone and using multiple swear words.”

Dr Thandao Chandam, 26, gives her statement to an officer at the Thalang police station about the alleged assault. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

Dr Thandao said the man’s wife then appeared and told her that she could shoot them dead without ever being found guilty because her son is a powerful police officer.

Dr Thandao immediately filed a complaint with the police against the Swiss man, Urs Beat, 45, for assault.

The man on Thursday denied he had intentionally kicked the doctor, saying it was an accident. Police plan to question him on Friday morning.

The Swiss man and his wife run an elephant camp in Phuket.