Man faces prison after he was beaten by gang in Thailand

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 August 2019

Luke after the attack.

Luke after the attack.


A father-of-three from Weston is facing a jail sentence after he was almost beaten to death while on holiday in Thailand.

Luke Thornton facial injuriesLuke Thornton facial injuries

Luke Thornton was out with friends in Chiang Mai when three men on bikes attacked them for sitting in the road.

His attackers punched and kicked him in the face, stamped on his head and dragged him through the street.

Luke thought he was going to die when he heard them talking about where 'they would hide his body'.

He said: "They seemed angry we were sitting there, but after the bars kick out everybody sits in the road.

Luke's nose and eye socked were smashed and he suffered a fractured skull and needed 40 stitches in his mouth.Luke's nose and eye socked were smashed and he suffered a fractured skull and needed 40 stitches in his mouth.

"We said sorry, we'll move out the way, but they didn't want to know and they started attacking the guy I was with."

Luke tried to stop them, but they turned on him.

He said: "They started punching me in the face, I tried to fight back but there were three of them.

"Then more people came and they were spinning me around.

Luke Thornton with his partner Sayforn PhetkajangLuke Thornton with his partner Sayforn Phetkajang

"I fell to the floor and got kicked in the face."

One of Luke's attackers put him in a chokehold, leaving the 38-year-old unconscious.

He said: "They got sticks with nails in and started to batter me. When I was unconscious they were dragging me round the floor kicking me in the face and stamping on my head.

"It was horrible. They were shouting they were going to kill me.

Luke Thornton spent £7,500 on medical bills.Luke Thornton spent £7,500 on medical bills.

"They fractured my skull and smashed my eye socket and nose to bits.

"I had a hole in my head and had to have 40 stitches in my mouth. My face was unrecognisable."

Luke crawled to a hotel where staff called an ambulance and he spent two-and-a-half weeks in hospital.

Luke had facial reconstruction surgery to repair his fractured skull and broken finger - costing him £7,500 in medical bills.

Luke is facing a possible prison sentence for fighting back.Luke is facing a possible prison sentence for fighting back.

When police asked him if he would like to attend court to press charges, he was keen to see justice done, but he was thrown in jail and told he had been charged for fighting back.

He said: "I want to go home, but they've taken my passport.

"A friend paid the £1,000 bail money or I would still be in jail.

"I've got PTSD and am on five different medications.

"I've got to go back to court on September 9 for the assault. They told me I could face prison."

Luke was due to fly home in June, but he has been stuck in Thailand for four months.

His friends have set up a fundraising page to help him pay for medical bills.

To donate money to Luke's cause, visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Weston Mercury