Update: Sex crimes convict admits murdering British boy, 16, who was found battered to death in a forest after

A sex crimes convict has admitted to murdering a 16-year-old British boy who was found battered to death in a Thai forest on Sunday, May 7.


Chaiwat Boongarin, 44, said he hit teenager Woramet Ben Taota when a drug deal went wrong, according to Thai police.


Officials say the man claims Taota and his girlfriend Suraphltchaya Khamsa, also 16, were methamphetamine runners for him, but they stole the substances from him.


The thug, who has previous convictions for sex crimes, allegedly lured Ben to a forest and then beat him to death with a stick before Khamsa fled.


Update: Sex crimes convict admits murdering British boy, 16, who was found battered to death in a forest after


Boongarin is now being remanded in custody in the Mae Tha district, and officers are expected to take him on a crime reconstruction later today.


His girlfriend, Khamsa has not been seen since Taota’s body was found with a deep wound on his head and cuts across his face.


Officers said Boonkarin confessed to killing the teenager after an argument broke out.


Boonkarin became very angry and hit the boy to death with a piece of wood because he believed Taota stole something and was lying, according to reports.


The 44-year-old, who had connections to the local drug trade, was released from prison eight months ago after being convicted of sex crimes.


Update: Sex crimes convict admits murdering British boy, 16, who was found battered to death in a forest after


Police Major General Mongkol Sampawapol said: ‘The killer was angry because he believed that Woramet kept the drugs for himself and his girlfriends, so he hit Woramet with a stick several times until he died.’

Dual national Taota borrowed his mother’s blue scooter and was seen riding with a girl on the back before he was found dead the next day in Lampang province on May 7. His body was later found in a grove, with injuries resembling blunt force.


Update: Sex crimes convict admits murdering British boy, 16, who was found battered to death in a forest after
Update: Sex crimes convict admits murdering British boy, 16, who was found battered to death in a forest after


His devastated British father Steven Graham, 60, a businessman who runs a thatched property insurance firm, has travelled to Thailand to speak to detectives there, who say they are searching for a second girlfriend amid fears for her safety.



Police said he was ‘romantically involved with’ Khamsa, riding pillion with him at around 4.25pm as they visited her grandfather. They dropped off another girl, also seen on the bike, then rode away together at 7.18pm in darkness.


Ben’s first girlfriend, Yam, has been found and she is safe.  Police have ruled her out of the case.


Officers claim to have seen Boonkarin on a black Honda motorbike on Saturday night with a woman they believe to be Khamsa.


Ben’s grandmother Lilian Graham told MailOnline on Tuesday that she believes he was persuaded to go to the forest where he was murdered.


Speaking from the family home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, Mrs Graham said: ‘Ben was with a girl and they went to the forest to meet a man. But something must have happened. And the man killed Ben. They don’t know what has happened to the girl.’

Mrs Graham added: ‘It’s been a real shock. We are all devastated. Ben’s father Steve is going to Thailand tonight.

‘I wanted to go out there with him to support him. But he wouldn’t let me. He said the flight was too long and it would be too upsetting.’


Mrs. Graham told how Ben was born following a long-distance romance between her son Steve and the boy’s mother, who is known as Ooy.


She said: ‘Steve met Ben’s mum Ooy when he was in Thailand on holiday with friends. She became pregnant and Steve went back many times.
‘I went out to visit them as well. I really love it out there. But they lived too far apart and sadly their relationship didn’t work out. But Steve and me really loved Ben. He was really special. A real character.’


Police Major General Sampawapol said: ‘Suraphltchaya’s nickname was Ping Pong. She also had a close romantic relationship with the deceased. She is still missing and we are actively searching for her. She was the last person to see Ben.

‘A suspect has been apprehended who had known the victim for a long time. He denies having any involvement in the death. However, we believe he is involved and it is connected to drug dealing in the area.’ 

Police said the suspect had been released from prison around eight months ago following previous convictions for sex crimes.


They claimed that Chaiwat was seen riding his black Honda Wave motorcycle without a license plate on May 6 at around 9pm and parked it at his relative’s house with a young woman they believe is Ben’s girlfriend, Suraphltchaya.


The motorcycle was found by officers, May 9, behind a cow shed close to the home.


Sampawapol added: ‘The suspect told his relative that he wanted to leave his motorcycle at their house.

‘He told them that he was looking for a rental house for his mistress. He then left the house with another motorcycle and returned the next morning.

‘After that, he rode the black Honda Wave and left it near the hut before officers found it on May, 9.

‘We are still searching for the young woman and believe that she is still safe.’


Officers had reported that the teenager’s phone and cash were missing from his shoulder bag, and suggested he might have been robbed.


They believe he was killed elsewhere and left in the woods as there were no signs of struggle.


Thai media reported that Ben’s body was found by a garbage collector who was at work on Sunday morning.


Police Colonel Sittisak Singtongla, superintendent of the Mae Tha Police, said: ‘The station received a notification at 10.15am that a deceased person was found in the undergrowth.’


Investigative teams from Mae Tha Police Station and Lampang provincial investigation team, along with forensics officers, forensic medicine doctors, and staff from Tanna Krua Forest Rescue attended the scene.


Thai media reported that the teenager was found with his back against a tree wearing a black long sleeve T-shirt and jeans.


Police said that the body has been taken to hospital for an autopsy.

‘We are currently tracking down individuals close to the victim, including his female companion. She is a key figure in this case since she is the last person to see him alive.’


Ben’s mother, Ooy Taota, told police that her son had said goodbye to her on Saturday evening and said he was ‘going to work with friends’ but he did not give any more details to her.

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