Chiangrai Times – Police say Daniel Ketley, originally from Australia but living with his parents, in Phuket, was involved in a motorbike accident but he and his family and friends say the mysterious circumstances point more to a severe beating than a bike crash.
The parents of an Australian 21-year-old allegedly beaten and left for dead in Naiharn are calling for an awareness campaign about the dangers of driving alone on motorbikes at night.
Daniel Ketley, a top Muay Thai fighter, suffered extensive and, in some instances, life-threatening injuries in an incident near Soi Saiyuan in Naiharn on June 8, sometime between 12.30am and 2am.
Daniel left a friend’s house in Laguna around half past midnight, on his way to the Rawai/Naiharn area to see another friend. His last memory is of being in the Soi Saiyuan area, near Icon Bar and the 7-Eleven, and seeing a self-service petrol pump. After that it’s all a blank. He believes he may have stopped for petrol and been attacked then.
Police in Chalong are treating him as yet another motorbike crash victim, but Daniel and his family, friends and family doctor, dispute this.
They believe he was hit on the head several times with something hard and then robbed of his wallet, with B400 inside, his insurance ID card and his mobile phone. The police point out, logically, that until Daniel remembers more, they can’t do much else.
One thing is sure; he was not drunk. A blood test showed he had drunk around one or two standard alcoholic drinks that night.
Daniel was picked up by an ambulance and taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital at around 2am. His parents, Stephen and Debbie Ketley were called and were told he had been in a motorbike accident.
They found Daniel with a fractured skull which required 45 stitches, hemorrhaging and compression on the brain, air bubbles in the brain, a shattered eye socket, jaw broken in three places, four lost teeth, a fractured vertebra, nerve damage to his neck and shoulder, and a fracture in the skull between his nose and upper lip. He spent five hours in surgery undergoing facial reconstruction.
He was initially in Vachira Phuket Hospital but was discharged after six days to recover at home. On June 21 he was admitted to Bangkok Hospital Phuket for brain scans.
The brain scans showed air bubbles in Daniel’s brain have disappeared, but he still cannot move his right arm. The neurologist assistant believes this is from his spinal injury, rather than nerve damage, Mrs Ketley said.
Mrs Ketley said the family had been overwhelmed by support the story has attracted. As of Thursday evening, around B130, 000 had been raised by supporters and paid into a Paypal account. Daniel was covered by health insurance but this has since been maxed out by his medical treatment.
“I’m astonished and I’m really so thankful. The money that has been raised will at least be able to pay for his face reconstruction and for the MRI scan that he needed to get done.
The Daniel Ketley Fund Facebook page can be found here.
Phuket is becoming one of the most dangerous destinations for foreigners,local tourists and businessmen. Armed gangs, some Tuk-Tuk drivers, some Jat Ski operators, tour operators etc are mostly controlled by criminal elements and it seems Phuket is no longer safe to visit for foreigners or Thais.
This week more than 50 police officers, including a team from the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, have been dedicated to catching the two men who attacked an unarmed female Australian tourist Michelle Smith, 60, who was stabbed to death in Kata.