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Hannah Witheridge family in Thailand for last stages of murder trial

Published 24/09/2015

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered in Thailand
Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered in Thailand

The family of a British backpacker murdered in Thailand have returned to the country for the final days of her alleged killers' trial.

Hannah Witheridge, 23, from Hembsy, Norfolk, and David Miller, 24, from Jersey, were found dead on the island of Koh Tao on September 15 last year.

Burmese migrants Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo are on trial for murder after denying their involvement.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Miss Witheridge's family confirmed they had arrived in Koh Samui where the trial is taking place.

They added: " As a family we are here to represent our beautiful girl.

"Our world changed forever on September 15 2014. Words cannot begin to explain the journey we have endured, a journey that has no end.

"We hope that the reporting of the case offers both Hannah and David their dignity and we ask that we are afforded our privacy to digest the case and the evidence being presented.

"Please remember, above all, that Hannah and David were both real people, they were loved by their families and all those that were privileged enough to know them.

"This story bears no happy ending; their lives were ended brutally that night without sense or reason."

The pair's bodies were found on a beach on Koh Tao. Miss Witheridge had been raped while Mr Miller died after being hit over the head before drowning in the sea.

Post-mortem examinations showed that both had suffered severe head wounds.

Both defendants, aged 22, initially confessed to the killings but later retracted these statements, saying they had been tortured.

Prosecutors say the DNA evidence links the two men to the killings b ut the trial recently heard that a garden hoe alleged to have been used in the killings carried the DNA of two men but there was no trace of either defendant.

The trial is understood to be entering its final days.

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