British tourist 'shot by stray bullet' at New Year's Eve party in Thailand

Stephen Ashton, 22, from Redhill in Surrey Photo: Facebook

A British tourist has reportedly been killed by a stray bullet during a fight between locals at a New Year's Eve party on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand.

The Foreign Office named the victim as 22-year-old Stephen Ashton from Redhill in Surrey, but did not provide any further details.

According to local reports, Ashton was welcoming in the new year at a bar in the popular tourist region of Haad Rin when a fight broke out between rival groups of Thai youths.

He was hit in the torso by a stray bullet fired by one of the locals as they left the bar in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Stephen Ashton Credit: Facebook

One of the many tributes left on Ashton's Facebook page reads: "Cannot believe what I've just seen...in complete and utter shock...thoughts are with you and your family....R.I.P Stephen."

One friend described Ashton as an "amazing young man," whilst another wrote: "Don't want to believe it. Still got photos of us on my wall from football and school".

Western tourists flock to the island of Koh Phanga for the monthly 'Full Moon parties' Credit: ITV News/Darren Burn

A report in the Bangkok Post said that Ashton was rushed to Ban Don International Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

It said that Thai police have arrested a 26-year-old man who is due to be questioned on Wednesday.

Haad Rin beach has become popular choice on the Gap-year circuit, with many Western tourists flocking there for the monthly 'Full Moon parties'.

The street outside the Zoom Bar - where the attack allegedly took place - was busy today and there were no visible signs on a police cordon.

Since 2009, Ashton is the eighth British nationals to have been killed in Thailand.