From Andrew Drummond, Bangkok
Tuesday 3rd July 2007
A 27-year-old British tourist has been arrested and charged with the rape of a Swedish woman on a Thai holiday island.
Benjamin Gardner, from Newport, Wales was apprehended today (Tuesday)
by police in Pattaya, Eastern Thailand after an Interpol arrest warrant
was issued to Thailand's National Police headquarters.
He is alleged to have raped the woman at a deserted house on Ko
Pha-Ngan Island in Southern Thailand in February this year. The island
is famous for its Full Moon Party, which attract thousands of European
backpackers every month.
After his arrest at the run down P.R. Guesthouse in Pattaya, about
100 miles east of Bangkok, Gardner told police that he had lost his
passport in February and claimed somebody else must have assumed his
identity in Ko Pha-Ngan.
Gardner's whereabouts eventually came to Interpol's attention after
he was arrested by Thai police in Pattaya in May and charged with
criminal assault on a Thai woman.
He had allegedly promised to pay the woman Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£7.00 sterling for sex but
had stolen her money and a gold necklace while she took a shower.
Police later found him hiding in a toilet at the hotel.
He spent two weeks in Pattaya jail before posting Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£800 sterling for
bail last month. Today he was re-arrested, charged with rape and will be
escorted by police to Ko Pha-Ngan tomorrow.