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The mother of Kirsty Jones, the 23 year old backpacker from Wales who was raped and strangled in the Aree Guest ouse in the City of Chiang Mai in August 2000 has accused the foreign office of putting diplomacy above her need to find answers in the case of her daughter’s death. She says they have refused to release all of the documents pertaining to her daughter’s death and that they foreign office have consistently prioritized good relations between the UK and Thailand above her need to find her daughters killer. In 2013 Sue Jones from Llanfilo made a freedom of information request to the Foreign Office for all of the documents relating to her daughters murder, but said she was told they would not release material that could jeopodise or hurt relations with Thailand. When the documents eventually did come back she says that names had been deleted. In a report in the Wales On line newspaper she is quoted as saying “I think basically what the Foreign Office are afraid of is that there could be something in there that could damage Thai/UK relations. That’s their main worry and their main objective for not giving out information.
“I did get the majority of the stuff. Some of the things were taken out and quite a few names were deleted.”
Initially the police arrested and charged Andrew Gill, the Irish owner of the guest house with rape and murder, despite reports that semen found at the scene belonged to an Asian Man. He was later released. Nobody has ever been found guilty of the crime. Mrs. Jones has been quoted as saying that she accepts that even if she did have all of the Foreign office material it would be unlikely any new facts would have emerged that would bring her and her family any comfort. She went on to say that the Dyfed Powys Police, who have been involved since 2001 have always kept her fully informed. Mrs. Jones has offered a ten thousand pounds reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer.
Kirsty Jones was three months into a two year round the world trip when she died. Mrs. Jones believes she was killed around midnight, a time when Chaing Mai comes to life, she believes this is why none of the other ten guests at the guest house heard or saw anything, however one British Backpacker Stephen Trigg says he heard her screaming “leave me alone, get off me”.
Mrs. Jones believes that somebody out there knows what happened that night but they are probably too afraid to say anything, however 15 years on she is still hopeful the killer will be caught and brought to justice. She said “Dyfed Powys have got the DNA. DNA is advancing every day so there are things that can still be looked into and they can still go down the line of looking at the DNA again and seeing if they can go any further with it than they did the last time.”
Dyfed Powys Police say they are still supporting the family and liaising with the Thai authorities over the probe.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said they have to strike a balance between responding to the family’s quest for information and maintaining good relations with the Thais to ensure they continue to pursue Kirsty’s killer.
A spokesperson said “making certain information public could hinder the police investigation” and “reduce the chances of securing a conviction”.