More information has emerged about Reece Blain Vella, 25, the British man arrested in connection with the death of Thai bar girl Wannipa Chanhuathon, 26, who died after falling from a condominium balcony in Pattaya in the early hours of Saturday.
He has been charged for recklessness causing death since he was the last person to see her before she was discovered naked in a pool of blood outside Cosy Beach View Condominium, where she had, apparently, fallen from the fifth floor. The charge carries a jail term of up to 10 years and/or a fine of THB200,000 (about US$6,200).
Reece Vella claimed he did not kill the woman but that she fell after he took her back to the room for sex after meeting her at Soi 6’s Sky Bar, where he paid her THB1,500 (US$47). Her boss at the bar, Gaz Hart, spoke to the media and said the girl was part of their family at the bar and he was saddened, reported The Mirror.
Reece Vella alleges that the sex started in the bedroom but continued on the balcony. A packet of the Indian equivalent of Viagra, called Kamagra, was found near her unclothed body.
CCTV footage that has circulated online shows the couple together going up to the room.
After Reece Vella vacated the rented room in a panic, he was arrested in a nearby bar on Soi Pornpraphanimit Soi 7 with Wannipa’s phone on him. Due to the phone, he has also been charged with theft at night.
Police discovered that the man had overstayed his Thai visa by 59 days. He is being held by police and has denied all charges.
Reece Vella is allegedly a convicted rapist that served a four-year sentence in 2012 and is currently wanted by UK police for a drug offense. In his sexual attack, he also physically assaulted his teen victim before the rape. The Mirror went on to say that he is also an ex-soldier who left the service due to suffering PTSD.
The man’s brother told the media that Reece Vella was trying to start a new life in a new country and confirmed his past with drugs and prison.
Police are continuing to investigate how exactly the young woman fell.