Swiss man apologises for kicking Thai doctor in Phuket, citing provocation by Chinese trespassers

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The Swiss man, identified only as David.

2nd March 2024 – (Bangkok) A Swiss man, identified only as David, who stands accused of kicking a Thai female doctor at his luxury villa in Phuket’s Thalang district, issued an apology on Friday for his behaviour. He explained that he was driven to anger due to previous trespassing incidents involving Chinese individuals.

The incident occurred at approximately 7.30pm on 24th February. According to reports, David kicked Thandao Chandam in the back while she and a female friend were sitting on the steps of the villa in Cape Yamu. They had mistakenly believed the steps were public property.

However, subsequent investigations revealed that the steps encroached on public land, leading authorities to order David and his Thai wife to demolish the unauthorized construction within three days.

Expressing remorse to all those involved, the foreigner, who also owns an elephant sanctuary in Phuket, explained that he became angry due to regular trespassing on the villa’s steps by various individuals, whom he believed were encroaching on his private property. He specifically mentioned incidents involving Chinese trespassers, with 7-8 people reportedly violating the villa’s lawns and swimming pool. David expressed concern for the safety of his Thai wife and mistakenly identified Thandao and her friend as part of the previous group.

During a press conference held at Phuket City Hall on 1st March, David’s Thai wife, Mrs. Sai, confirmed the trespassing incidents and mentioned her swimming in the pool at the time of the incident, while her husband was absent from the villa.

Mrs. Sai, who also admitted to becoming angry during the altercation when David kicked Thandao, stated that she knew a senior police officer in the province and mentioned her son’s occupation as a low-ranking policeman. She apologized for their improper behaviour and pledged to make amends for their actions.

The case gained significant attention in Thailand, with Mr. Fehr, a 45-year-old Swiss citizen, facing accusations of assaulting the Thai doctor. During the press conference, he reiterated his love for Thailand and expressed his willingness to assist Thai people in any way possible. He expressed sadness over the situation, stating that he did not anticipate it escalating to this point and apologized to all Thais for their actions. He attributed his reaction to a sense of violated privacy due to repeated trespassing incidents.

Mr. Fehr clarified that he did not kick the doctor and presented evidence, including a photograph of a wound on his toe and the results of the doctor’s examination, which indicated that the injury resulted from a trip and fall.

Apologizing for her use of unpleasant language and the mention of knowing a senior police officer, Mrs. Sai explained that her actions were driven by anger and confusion. She emphasized her willingness to take responsibility and accept the consequences of their behaviour.

Phuket Deputy Governor, Mr. Adul Chuthong, who assisted in organising the press conference, addressed the media’s concerns regarding the alleged presence of a mafia in Phuket and foreigners taking over land or public property. He categorically refuted such claims, assuring the public that the governor maintains strict oversight, and the police carry out their duties diligently within their authority.