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British mum’s anguish at battle for truth about son’s death in Koh Tao

A MUM who has fought for 18 months to find out the truth about her son’s death in Thailand says justice has not been done.

Ben Harrington, 32, was killed on the paradise island of Koh Tao during “the holiday of a lifetime” in 2012. His inquest was finally held on Monday, and found he died as a result of a road traffic collision, after his motorcycle crashed into an electricity pylon. His heartbroken mum Pat, of Vevers Road, Reigate, has spent months fighting for information from the Thai authorities about her son’s death, including submitting Freedom of Information requests to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Ben Harrington 1She says the family has been left with more questions than answers and now plans to lobby the Government to change the law on registering deaths of British nationals abroad. Mr Harrington, an IT consultant of London Road, Reigate, was in Thailand, on holiday with brother Mark and a friend, though he was alone at the time of the collision.

The inquest in Horsham on Monday heard he was declared dead at 12.30am on August 30 2012. A post mortem carried out in Brighton after his body was repatriated revealed he died from a transected aorta. As she recorded her conclusion, coroner for West Sussex Penny Schofield said: “I am not going to put [record] an accident because I don’t feel I have got sufficient evidence to be satisfied it definitely was an accident, but clearly it was a collision of some form. “We only have limited information,” she added. “That is what quite often happens when you have a death abroad.” Mr Harrington’s wallet and watch have never been recovered and Mrs Harrington believes he may have been mugged.

Speaking after the inquest, she said the limited details she has uncovered still do not add up. She said: “I don’t feel I should have had to push for all this. The information should come as standard. If it hadn’t been for Mark’s girlfriend, I would never have known about Freedom of Information requests.” She remains angry that the death certificate issued in Thailand contains incorrect information and now plans to campaign for the foreign deaths of British citizens to be registered here. “There is no recognition of Ben having died here,” she said. “Even trying to redirect his post we had terrible problems. “The original death certificate says he died of a broken neck – but there was no evidence of a broken neck in the post mortem carried out here.” Family and friends who set up The Ben Harrington Repatriation Charity after his death hope it will become a registered charity.

Source Surry Mirror



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