HUA HIN – Police have launched a murder inquiry after a British man died in hospital a year after he was attacked in a Thai beach resort.
Paul Ayling, 48, had been in a coma and persistent vegetative state following the assault in which he was hit on the head with a block of wood in Hua Hin, 140 miles south of Bangkok, on November 21 last year.
Mr Ayling died in a Hertfordshire care home last Sunday but his parents say that despite giving investigators the names of three men linked to the killing, the case has made no progress.
Michael and Anita Ayling believe their son was attacked because of a dispute with Thai decorators whose bill he had refused to pay after they had worked at his home in the resort.
Kitchen fitter Mr Ayling had moved to Thailand from Thorpe Bay, Essex, with his wife Justine and their nine-year-old son Scott last year, joining his parents and brother who were already living in Hua Hin.
The couple were riding home on a motorbike after dropping their son at school when they were ambushed by two men who leapt out of the bushes and hit Mr Ayling over the head with a club.
Mrs Ayling said at the time: “I cradled Paul in my arms. There was blood everywhere. He has never spoken since.” Mr Ayling had surgery in Bangkok before being transferred to Northwick Park hospital. Last June, he was moved to a care home after tests showed he had emerged from the coma but was in a persistent vegetative state, meaning that he was unaware of anything around him and was highly unlikely to improve.
Anita Ayling, who has lived in Thailand for seven years, said: “He had been fighting all this time. He kept getting chest infections and in the end the antibiotics did not work. Then they couldn’t get his oxygen levels back up. His body just gave up in the end.”
She and her husband have put up a reward for information about their son’s murder and within a week of the attack they had been given the names of three men, which they handed to local police. But Mrs Ayling said: “The police did not seem to care.
“There was no forensic investigation and the club used to attack Paul was just left lying around the police station.”
Mrs Ayling said the British Embassy in Bangkok was now liaising with Thai police.
An inquest has been opened and adjourned in Essex.