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From Andrew Drummond, Bangkok
Police in Thailand today arrested a member of the Akha hill tribe for
the murder of British composer and music teacher David Crisp, who was
found brutally stabbed and beaten at his home in the northern Thai
capital of Chiang Mai.
And they said Crisp was murdered last week for the equivalent of Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£100
and a few personal belongings such as an electronic keyboard - after
he upset his hill tribe house guests by complaining about their dirty
At a press conference in Chiang Mai today 22-yr-old Awe Ye Piang, a
member of the Akha hill tribe whose villages straddle the Burma, Thai,
and Lao borders, was paraded before photographers.
Police said he had confessed to carrying out the murders with two
members of the Shan hill tribe, nicknamed Jack and John. All three
worked at a gay bar in Chiang Mai's night market and had frequently been
taken from the bar by Mr. Crisp, a popular and well respected member
of the expatriate community in Chiang Mai, and former head of music at
Lasswade Secondary School, Bonnyrigg.
Police Captain Phanudet Booruang said police, with the help of Border
Police officers, had tracked down Awe Ye Piang, who had fled to Burma.
He was arrested as he crossed the border back into Thailand, opposite
the Thai settlement of Mai Chan.
'Awe Ye Piang, who had a history of involvement with drugs, was arrested
on a warrant issued by Chiang Mai court. He quickly confessed to the
murder. On the day before David Crisp's body was found he had made
many calls to the composer.
'He said that all three men had stayed together at David Crisp's house
for six days. But Crisp became angry and criticised them for eating but
not cleaning their dishes, and making a mess of his house.
'This in turn made them very angry, and they plotted together in a room
at the back of the house to kill him. Awe Ye Piang says that they
opened the door to his office and saw David Crisp sitting at his
computer with his back to them.
'Jack ran towards Mr. Crisp and stabbed him in the neck. John hit him
over the head with a teak vase. They took away 13 items of his
belongings, which included a television and DVD player, camera and a
watch, and his safe and loaded them into is Citroen M20. We found Crisps
belongings at Awe Ye Piang's address. They later abandoned the Citroen
which we found.
'When they opened the safe they found only 5000 Thai baht (approx Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£100) which they split
'Afterwards all three men went drinking at the Lillawadee Restaurant in Chiang Mai.'
David Crisp, a popular and talented Head of Music at Lasswade Secondary
School, moved to Thaland after his retirement a year ago.
Captain Boonruang said warrants had been issued for the arrests of 'Jack and John' but did not disclose their real names.
Police last week said they suspected the culprits were Shan hill tribe
because whoever committed the murder smashed the ceiling light in his
office. It was a superstition that ,if they did that, the animist sprits
would not see their getaway.
However there have been many rejections of this claim that the
culprits were Shan or Thai Yai after the police carried over their claim
for another week.
Nick, the Shan manager of Cream Bar in the Night Bazaar has messaged
in to say that he knows the two missing suspects and that they are
definetly Akha not Shan or Tai Yai. He said he knew a little about their