Friends' video tribute to former city trader shot dead in Thailand
4:00pm Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
Friends of a man shot celebrating New Year's Eve in Thailand have created a tribute video in his memory.
Stephen Ashton of Verulam Avenue, Purley, was dancing on the sand when he was caught in the crossfire of a gun fight between two local gangs.
The 22-year-old former city trader who was on holiday with friends, was at a party at a bar on Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan, when he was shot in the chest.
The video tribute to the former Riddlesdown student was posted on YouTube, in memory of a "loving son, brother and friend to many."
Ekkapan Kawekla has appeared in court charged with premeditated murder and possession of a weapon, but it is not yet known whether prosecutors will reduce his murder charge to manslaughter.
The 26-year-old confessed in court he had unintentionally shot Mr Ashton with a home-made gun.
According to the Bangkok Post he said: "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."
An inquest into Mr Ashton's death was opened and adjourned at Croydon Coroners Court this morning.
The court heard an autopsy report from Thailand, gave the cause of death as lung laceration from a gun shot wound.
Coroner Dr Roy Palmer adjourned the inquest pending the Thai court case.
He said: "I will await the outcome of the Criminal Justice System in Thailand, before I decide what I am going to do in relation to resuming the inquest in this country."