16 January 2006 :Wichai Somkhaoyai, and Bualoi Posit, the two Thai fisherman who raped and murdered British backpacker Katherine Horton should be spared the death penalty but locked up for life, the victim's mother said. Somkhaoyai, 24, and Posit, 23, were to learn of their fate on January 18 after pleading guilty to the attack on the 21-year-old on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand.
Thailand's prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, had called for the pair to be executed. But Elizabeth Horton disagreed and told British journalists it was not what her daughter would have wanted.
"I've never believed in the death penalty, but I believe life means life," Mrs Horton, of Thornhill, Cardiff, said.
"A life sentence would be appropriate. I don't agree with taking anyone's life and Katherine wouldn't believe in that either.
"I don't think that serves any purpose. If they are behind bars until they die it will stop it happening to anyone else." Her plea for leniency came as concerns were raised about the unprecedented speed of the investigation and trial, and the impartiality of the Thai police and judicial authorities. Murder cases usually take months to conclude in Thailand, but in this case sentencing was to take place only 17 days after the attack on January 1.