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Mystery surrounds death of British pensioner found floating in Nan River in Phitsanulok

Police are keeping an open mind in the death of a British pensioner found dead in the Nan River in downtown Phitsanulok yesterday.

They are working on several theories – suicide, accident or foul play.

Though later yesterday after his wife was interviewed another possibility came to light – changes in the way the British government pay pensions may have led to the man taking his own life in despair.

Phitsanulok police were called yesterday when Trevor Roberts, 74, was found floating face up in the river. He had been dead about two hours, reported Thai Rath.

There was a driving license in his pocket, 2,640 baht in cash, a house key and car keys for a Mitsubishi. He was wearing a watch and carrying an appointment card for a visit to the Krung Thep Phitsanulok Hospital.

There was no sign of his Mitsubishi car nearby.

There were no signs of attack on the body but there was a bruise on his right arm.

Police contacted the younger sister of his wife called Phuangthong Nuanjan, 59, who said that Mr Roberts was a former language teacher at a college in the area and had been in town about ten years and was now retired.

He usually stayed home with his wife, her elder sister, but occasionally went to visit foreign friends in his car. He used to drink but had given up nearly a year ago, she said.

She said she had been to visit the couple only last Tuesday when her sister had told her that the couple had been arguing lately. Mr Roberts had been complaining that he was in financial difficulty because his pension was less than before due to some British government changes in the way it was paid.

Apparently the wife did not accept this and suggested that her husband might be spending money on a woman on the side and this led to them arguing frequently.

Police got the sister to contact the wife, Pratheuang Roberts, to inform her what had happened.

Later Mrs Roberts told police that her husband had said two days ago that he wanted to die. She thought nothing of it at the time.

Yesterday at 7.30 she went to town to do some business and when she returned at 9am her husband had already gone out in his car.

She thought he had gone to see friends. The next thing she heard was when her sister called to say he had been found floating in the river.

Phitsanulok cops are hunting for the victim’s car. They are as yet unsure as to whether he jumped in the river, had an accident involving his car or someone else was involved in his death.

Police have sent the body for a detailed autopsy as investigations continue.
 Thai Visa / Thai Rath

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