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Thread: Two charged over Australian's murder - Michelle Smith

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    Default Travel agents return home after Phuket stabbing

    Colleagues of slain Aussie Michelle Smith have returned home, as husband says he will never recover from the loss.

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    Default Warrants issued for Thai murder suspects

    THAI police have issued arrest warrants for two suspects in the murder of Perth travel agent Michelle Smith.

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    rss Thai pair 'confess' to Aussie's murder

    THAI police have arrested two men for the murder of Perth travel agent Michelle Smith in Phuket

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    rss Two charged over Australian's murder - Michelle Smith

    AUSTRALIAN authorities are liaising with their Thai counterparts after two men were charged over the murder of Perth travel agent Michelle Smith in Phuket.



    [I]Michelle Smith[I]

    The 60-year-old was fatally stabbed on June 20 when two men on a motorbike tried to snatch her handbag.

    “We are aware of reports two people have been charged over the death of an Australian woman in Phuket,” a spokeswoman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

    “The Australian embassy in Bangkok is liaising with authorities.”

    The ABC has reported that Surasak Suwannachote has confessed to the stabbing and Surin Tadthong has confessed to riding the motorbike during the crime.

    They have been charged with co-operating to kill a person for personal benefit, taking property with a weapon, causing death and injury, and carrying a weapon in a public place.

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    Default Surasak Suwannachot and Surin Toptong - Thai men in court over Australian's death

    TWO Thai men charged with the murder and robbery of Australian woman Michelle Smith will face a provincial court on Monday.



    Smith, 60, from Joondulup in Perth, died on June 20 during an attempted robbery on the Thai resort island of Phuket.

    Facing the Phuket provincial court is Surasak Suwannachot, 26, who is a accused of stabbing Smith in the chest during the attack as a group of Australian travel agents, on a familiarisation trip to Thailand, were returning to their resort.

    Surasak then rode off on a motorbike with accomplice Surin Toptong, 37, leaving Smith fatally wounded.

    Ms Smith's travelling companion, Tammee Lynn, 42, also injured in the attack, desperately tried to save Smith, a mother of three.

    Ms Lynn, who provided a detailed statement to the police, has not been called to provide further evidence to the court.

    An intense investigation and reward of 300,000 baht ($9600) led to the arrest of the suspects, following a tip-off from a restaurant owner.

    Police were also aided by closed circuit television (CCTV) near the scene of the crime close to the group's resort hotel.

    Surasak could face the death penalty, but Thai officials say a guilty plea is expected to result instead in a lengthy prison sentence.

    The murder led to stepped-up security around Phuket, which is heavily dependent on the 400,000 Australians who visit the island each year.

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    Default Life in jail for Aussie woman's killers

    TWO Thai men have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder and robbery of Australian woman Michelle Smith.



    Smith, 60, from Perth, died on June 20 during an attempted robbery on the Thai resort island of Phuket.

    Surasak Suwannachot, 26, stabbed Smith in the chest during the attack as a group of Australian travel agents, on a familiarisation trip to Thailand, were returning to their resort.

    Surasak then rode off on a motorbike with accomplice Surin Toptong, 37, leaving Smith fatally wounded.

    Ms Smith' s travelling companion, Tammee Lynn, 42, also injured in the attack, desperately tried to save Smith, a mother of three.

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    rss Life sentence for travel agent murder

    TWO Thai men have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering an Australian tourist they were trying to rob on one of Thailand's most popular resort islands.

    The Phuket provincial court initially sentenced the men to the maximum penalty of death but commuted it to life imprisonment because they had confessed to killing 60-year-old Michelle Smith, said prosecutor Wiwat Kitjaruk. One told reporters later he didn't kill her, and both said they would appeal.

    Mrs Smith had traveled to Phuket from Perth with colleagues to survey the island for their travel agency. She was walking back to her hotel after dinner on June 20 with a friend when two men on a passing motorcycle tried to steal her purse.

    Streetside surveillance cameras captured the attack: The motorcycle slowed alongside Mrs Smith as the bike passenger attempted to grab her bag, but Mrs Smith resisted.

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