Man in court over Thailand beach shooting of Stephen Ashton from Purley
A man has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a Purley man shot dead in Thailand.
Ekkapan Kaewkla has also been charged with the illegal possession of a firearm.
The 26-year-old is accused of killing Stephen Ashton of Verulam Avenue, Purley, at a New Year's Eve party on the island of Koh Phangan.
Mr Ashton, 22, was dancing with friends on the beach when he was caught in the crossfire during a fight between rival gangs.
He was shot in the upper body and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. British ambassador to Thailand, Mark Kent, is expected to visit the crime scene later today.
Police Colonel Kittakarn Kramomthong, chief of police at the island's station, said officers had confiscated a gun when arresting Mr Kaewkla.
It has been reported Mr Kaewkla has confessed to the killing.
Yesterday, Mr Ashton's family said they had been left "completely devastated" by his death.
In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the 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 were all so proud of him; he was a much loved son, brother, grandson and nephew."
Tributes have continued to pour in for the former Riddlesdown Collegiate students.
A statement on behalf of staff and students at the school said: "It is with real sadness we have learnt of the tragic death of Stephen, one of our former students, over the New Year.
"Our thoughts and the prayers of many within our community, are with his family and friends at this difficult time."