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.