Phuket British expat arrested for sex assault on boys

78-year-old British man arrested in Thailand for indecent acts involving at least eight underage boys in Phuket

The announcement follows the arrest of the British man’s 32-year-old adopted son, named by police only as “Ekarat”
Ekarat (right), also known as ‘Nikki’, a swim coach in Phuket, at the press conference at Phuket Provincial Police headquarters yesterday (Apr 17). Photo: Supplied

PHUKET: A 78-year-old British man has been arrested in Phuket for indecent sexual acts involving at least eight boys.

The news was revealed at a press conference at Phuket Provincial Police headquarters led by assistant national police chief Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn together with Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Amphol Buarabporn late yesterday (Apr 17).

The announcement follows the arrest of the British man’s 32-year-old adopted son, named by police only as “Ekarat”, who also goes by the nickname “Nikki”, at his home in in Khok Kloi, Phang Nga, just north of Phuket, on Saturday (Apr 16).

Ekarat, a swim coach in Phuket, was arrested for procuring minors for the purpose of sex assault.

Ekarat was presented to the press at the press conference yesterday (Apr 17).

Lt Gen Surachate named the British man as John David Ross Young, a long-term resident of Moo 2, Pa Khlok, on Phuket’s east coast, where he had lived for about 10 years.

Young had previously engaged in real estate business. He was involved in the buying and selling of land and buildings, namely pool villas, at a development in Moo 7, Baan Yamu, Pa Khlok, in 2012, Lt Gen Surachate said.

Young had since retired and was no longer working. The 78-year-old is a widower. His wife was a New Zealand national. Their two sons are currently in New Zealand, Lt Gen Surachate continued.

Young came to Thailand in 1999 and during his stay in Pa Khlok had become well known in the Pa Khlok community for his charity and community work to help local villagers in need.

“He was loved by the general villagers, and was known for handing money to children, especially boys in the community,” Lt Gen Surachate said.

Police were first alerted to indecent acts conducted on children in the Pa Khlok area in December 2020, but investigations were stifled as villagers refused to cooperate with police as most of them had received help from Young, Lt Gen Surachate continued.

On Mar 15 this year, local community welfare charity For Freedom International Foundation brought the parent of a 13-year-old boy to file a formal complaint against Young with the Thalang Police.

The criminal complaint, No. 156/2565, resulted in a warrant being issued and the arrest of Young on Mar 18, Lt Gen Surachate said.

The investigation identified 10 children brought into the home. Police were able to confirm that eight of the children, all boys, had been abused.

Police found evidence of a total of 19 incidents of sexual assault.

Five other children in the area were being questioned, Lt Gen Surachate added.

The 13-year-old whose testimony led to the arrest of Young had confirmed that Young’s 32-year-old adopted son Ekarat had persuaded the boy to go to Young’s house to learn to swim at the pool at Young’s residence, where the boy was assaulted.

CCTV footage at the home confirmed that Ekarat had lured the boy to the home at about 2:30pm on Mar 14, Lt Gen Surachate said.

Following an investigation an arrest warrant for Ekarat was issued on Saturday (Apr 16), with Ekarat arrested the same day, he said.

Police are continuing their investigation to pursue charges against Young and Ekarat for taking a child under 15 years old from his parents or guardians without reasonable cause for committing indecent acts and for committing indecent acts against children under 15 years of age.

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