England

Thailand murders: Victims' families talk of senseless killings

  • 24 December 2015
  • From the section England
Hannah Witheridge and David Miller Image copyright PA
Image caption Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found dead on the island of Koh Tao on 15 September 2014

The families of two British backpackers murdered in Thailand have spoken about the "senseless and brutal" killings.

Two Burmese men have been found guilty and sentenced to death for murdering Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao island.

Mr Miller's family said he would be remembered as a "hard-working, bright and conscientious man".

Ms Witheridge's family spoke of how their "world changed forever" after her death on 15 September 2014.

Image caption Floral tributes to the two dead Britons on the beach at Koh Tao island in Thailand

The judgement and sentencing of Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were delivered on Thursday, although their lawyers said they would appeal after they retracted their initial confessions on the grounds police had tortured them.

The flawed case of the Thailand beach murders

Ms Witheridge, 23, from Hemsby in Norfolk, had earned a first-class honours degree from the University of East Anglia and was working towards a masters degree in speech and language therapy at the University of Essex.

Her family described her as "a beautiful, intelligent, loving young woman who poured joy into the lives of all who knew her".

"Words cannot begin to explain the journey we have endured, a journey that has no end."

Image caption Hannah Witheridge's funeral took place in Hemsby near Great Yarmouth in October 2014

Her funeral, took place in Hemsby in October last year, and mourners were asked to wear bright colours.

Mr Miller, 24, was originally from Jersey and studying civil and structural engineering at Leeds University.

He had been on a six-week work placement with a mining company in Australia before taking a break with a friend in Thailand.

Live updates: Reaction after two men sentenced to death

Shortly after the murders, his father Ian Miller said he believed his son had stepped in to help Ms Witheridge when they were both killed.

Mr Miller's family said they were killed in a "senseless and brutal way" while both were "in the prime of their lives".

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