'Justice' for murdered British backpackers as two Burmese men sentenced to death


The family of one of the British backpackers brutally murdered on a beach in Thailand said "justice" has been delivered after two Burmese migrants were sentenced to death for the killings.

The battered bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were discovered on the idyllic holiday island of Koh Tao on September 15 last year.

Miss Witheridge, from Hemsby in Norfolk, had been raped before she was killed while Mr Miller, from Jersey, had been hit over the head before drowning in the sea.

Bar workers Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, also known as Win Zaw Htun, initially confessed to the murders but later retracted their statements, claiming they had been tortured by police.

The long-awaited verdicts in their trial were delivered at a court on the island of Koh Samui as both men were found guilty of murder and rape and issued with the death penalty.

Mr Miller's brother Michael, flanked by parents Ian and Sue, said outside court that the "correct decision" had been reached.

"David was hacked down from behind, dragged into the sea, and left to die. That will live with us forever," he said.

"What happened to Hannah Witheridge is unspeakable.

"We believe the result today represents justice for David and Hannah."

Miss Witheridge's family, who did not travel to Thailand for the verdicts, said the last year had been an "unimaginably impossible time" and they would now "digest the outcome of the trial".