PATTAYA– Mohamad Shanar Ryad, a former Syrian army commando and United Nations-registered refugee has been sentenced in Thailand for the murder of a New Zealand man in August 2011.
Charles Jones, who was the 56-year-old president of the World Croquet Federation, was stabbed to death in his hotel room in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya.
Ryad, 22, was sentenced to jail for nine years and five months for the crime in Pattaya provincial court, Pattaya Daily News reported.
The prison sentence was reduced by half because he confessed.
The court heard that Jones was stabbed 27 times with a knife.
His murderer listened to the verdict with no expression on his face.
Jones’ friend, Stuart Yeatman, of Christchurch, dropped him off at his apartment the night he was killed to meet Ryad, who Jones had befriended and had met twice previously, Fairfax reported
Ryad admitted killing Mr Jones but said he had reacted after the New Zealander had tried to rape him.
Mr Yeatman had told the court Mr Jones would never attack someone and was incapacitated with a shoulder injury.
Pattaya One reported that Ryad said he was a United Nations-registered refugee who fled to Thailand to escape the conflict in Syria.
It was later discovered that he was an illegal alien in Thailand and was unable to provide police with a passport.