A Phuket police officer who shot a noodle vendor on the streets of Patong when drunk last year has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars for the crime which was captured on video by security cameras. The 25 year old victim is permanently disabled from the incident.
Pornthep Channarong was off-duty and said to be out drinking all night before shooting Aroon Thongplab in the stomach in the early hours of February 23, 2021. CCTV footage showed the officer denied entrance to Illuzion Nightclub for carrying a weapon as he drunkenly waved his gun around, later firing shots into the street.
The footage captured an unprovoked attack showing the noodle vendor, who had just picked up a customer’s finished bowl, being shot in the stomach and then taunted and kicked by the intoxicated officer, who fired a second shot at point-blank range but missed. The shooting paralysed the vendor when the bullet hit his spine, leaving the family struggling to get by.
The Royal Thai Police paid only 20,000 baht in compensation to the victim, though the police chief later donated 100,000 baht and online donations raised 700,000 more. The police officer had requested bail, saying he wanted to be freed so he could help in fundraising to provide financial assistance to his victim’s family.
In today’s sentencing, that officer officially will be able to help the family with money, as he was ordered to pay the victim 7,992,500 baht in restitution for his crime and the damage done. The former police officer was given 20 years to fully pay the nearly eight million baht to the noodle vendor and his family.
The court noted that the former Phuket Police officer was cooperative throughout the prosecution and trial, and received leniency because of his good behaviour. He was fined just 1,000 baht for the crime (in addition to the nearly eight million he must pay his victim) and his sentence was reduced to 25 years and 4 months in jail.
SOURCE: TPN National