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Attacker who stabbed victim 54 times is jailed

A man found guilty of murder after stabbing his victim 54 times has been jailed for 20 years. 39-year-old Thomas Kearney was convicted at the Old Bailey of killing 35-year-old David Remmer at the hostel they both lived at in Talgarth Road, West Kensington.

Thomas Kearney Credit: Met Police

A post-mortem showed the victim had 54 stab wounds to his body, back and head. A large amount of cash - £3,000 - that David Remmer had been planning to take to on holiday to Thailand, was also missing.

David Remmer Credit: Met Police

A large blood-covered kitchen knife was found at the scene along with shoes Kearney had been seen wearing on the CCTV, also covered in David Remmer's blood.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Liz Baker said: "Kearney’s intent to kill is clear. The trial judge His Honour Judge Wide could not be sure that Kearney had murdered for financial gain.

"However he admitted that his first actions, after David died, was to search his pockets, take all the money that he had on him in readiness for his holiday and leave the building."

Thai gunman wants to apologise to Ashton family

The man accused of killing a Surrey city trader duing a New Year's Eve party in Thailand said today he wanted to say sorry to his family.

Speaking to our correspondent in the cells ahead of his court appearance today, he said he knew he'd done wrong.

Stephen Ashton was shot on the island of Koh Phangan. Angus Walker reports from Thailand.

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Man appears in Thai court accused of shooting dead Londoner

A man has appeared in court in Thailand accused of shooting dead a tourist from Purley during a New Year's Eve party.

Ekkapan Kaewkla, who is 26, has been charged with killing Stephen Ashton, who died after he was hit by a stray bullet during a fight outside a bar on the island of Koh Phangan.

ITV News correspondent Angus Walker was in court on the neighbouring island of Koh Samui and spoke to the defendant before the trial.

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Report: Suspect 'sorry' over British tourist shooting

A man has allegedly admitted to unintentionally killing a British tourist at a New Year's Eve party on a Thai island, according to the Bangkok Post.

Stephen Ashton, 22, was shot dead on Koh Phangan and earlier 26-year-old Ekkapan Kaewkla was arrested in connection with the shooting.

The Bangkok Post reported that Mr Kaewkla said: “My group was outnumbered so we ran outside the bar. I drew out a gun and fired a shot into the bar aimed at my rivals.

"But it turned out that the tourist was hit. I’m sorry for the incident that occurred and I am ready to be punished for what I have done."

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Victim's MP 'determined to ensure that justice is served'

Stephen Ashton's MP Richard Ottaway said he had been in touch with the Foreign Office to check that everything was being done to support the investigation.

The MP, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has also contacted the family to extend his condolences and offer any help that he can.

He said:

The UK ambassador to Thailand will be visiting the scene of the crime tomorrow.

I have written to Mr Ashton's family to offer my help in any way that I can.

I am determined to ensure that justice is served and that whoever is responsible for this heinous act is held to account.

I understand that under Thai law the authorities have up to 84 days to bring charges and there is a bit of a history of this time being taken in other cases.

It may be some weeks before charges are finally brought.

Family of Stephen Ashton pay tribute

Statement issued by the Foreign & Common wealth Office on behalf of the family of Stephen Ashton following his tragic death in Thailand on New Years Eve:

As a family we are completely devastated by the loss of Stephen from our lives. He has been taken away from us in such cruel and tragic circumstances in which he was an innocent bystander simply enjoying New Year celebrations.

We are comforted in the thought that he was having a fantastic time with friends after such a difficult period following the loss of his much loved dad who passed away from a brain tumour in 2011 and the loss of his granddad a few months earlier.

We were all so proud of him; he was a much loved son, brother, grandson and nephew. He will be truly missed by his family but also by the many friends he made during his life. We cannot comprehend how someone can carry out such a reckless act, giving such little value to human life.

We ask that our privacy be respected to allow us to grieve.

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Ashton 'always had friends and girls round him'

Thailand shooting victim Stephen Ashton, 22, was a regular at the Rectory pub in Brighton Road, Purley.

Deputy manager Matthew Hitchmough said:

He had been coming in here for quite some time, and was bubbly - he always had friends and girls round him.

I didn't know him particularly well, just to say a few words to, but he was a nice man - I can't say a bad word about him.

It's certainly a shock to hear this has happened, I know that a few of the people who come in go to Thailand for Christmas and new year.

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