Family pay tribute to Purley man Stephen Ashton killed in Thailand
The family of a man from Purley shot dead while celebrating New Year's Eve in Thailand, have said they have been left "completely devastated" by his death.
Stephen Ashton, 22, was dancing in the sand on a beach when he was caught in the crossfire of a gun fight between two local gangs.
In a statement released through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ashton family said: "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."
Speaking outside the home a family friend said Stephen's mum Diane was waiting on the Foreign Office for advice.
He said: "No family have gone out there yet, there are family around the world so if need be we can get in contact with them."