PHUKET – Karon Police Chief Col Sanya Thongsawad has reported that 21 year-old Thomas Keating has been formally charged in the accidental death of his girlfriend 20 year-old fellow Australian Emily Jayne Collie.
Thomas Keating, 21, appeared at the Karon Provincial Police Station to acknowledge the charge against him, which police called “recklessness, causing death to another”. Under Thai law, the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
Members of the press were not permitted to attend the formal reading of the charge.
“The deceased’s relatives have told police they understand that this was an accident and will not pursue the case,” said Sanya Thongsawad, superintendent at Karon Provincial Police Station.
Before returning to Australia with Emily’s body they issued a statement to the media, provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The statement reads:
We are in the midst of grieving through the sudden loss of our precious daughter Emily. This was a tragic accident. We do not believe anybody was at fault. In particular, we do not place any blame on Tom Keating, who we care about very much and who we know loved Emily deeply.
We are all heartbroken beyond words, and at this extremely sad time, we wish to be together with our family, with Tom, and with other loved ones to grieve and celebrate Emily’s life. We do not wish to speak with the press at this very painful time, and ask that those wishes be respected.
Ian and Sally Collie