‘Violent attack’ in Brit tourist’s fundraising campaign exposed as fake

Police question the couple at the hospital before it became apparent that they had lied. Photos: The Phuket News
Police question the couple at the hospital before it became apparent that they had lied. Photos: The Phuket News

A British man who claimed his leg was broken when he was mugged at gunpoint in a violent attack in Phuket last Thursday fled the island with his wife this morning on a flight to Dubai before police could confront him with CCTV evidence showing him willingly jumping from a hotel balcony in Patong.

Mik Laverty, a 50-year-old Army veteran, and his wife Denise, both from Durham in northeast England, were the subject of a fundraising campaign to pay for hospital bills after Mr. Laverty suffered multiple leg fractures that he claimed were sustained in a brutal mugging.

In the plea to raise funds on the popular UK-based Crowdfunder website, it was claimed that Mr. Laverty sustained his injuries in an attack in Phuket just hours after the couple landed on the island to celebrate Mr. Laverty’s 50th birthday.

However, Phuket Tourist Police confirmed today that CCTV footage from the hotel where Mr.Laverty was injured showed him plainly jumping over a first-floor balcony rail – unassisted – to fall six to seven meters below at about midnight on Nov 3.

“Staff heard him screaming and ran to help. They called a rescue team which soon arrived and took him to Patong Hospital,” Capt. Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police explained.

Mr. Laverty was transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket Town last Saturday. Later that morning, Mr. Laverty’s wife, Denise, called the Tourist Police hotline to report that her husband had been attacked by three or four Thai men.

“It was reported that he was robbed and his watch was stolen at the Thara Patong Beach Resort & Spa. We were told that he wanted to file a report in order to submit a claim to his medical insurance provider, so I went to see him at Bangkok Hospital Phuket,” Capt. Ekkachai explained.

“However, when I questioned witnesses during my investigation I found that his account of what happened did not match with what the witnesses told me. For example, hotel staff found his watch near where he landed on the ground. In fact, his watch is still here with me,” Capt Ekkachai said of the watch Mr. Laverty reported as being stolen from him.

“Also, CCTV from the resort shows the couple arriving in the lobby, then Mr. Laverty goes up to the first floor and starts checking doors while walking along the balcony,” Capt. Ekkachai noted.

CCTV footage showing Mr. Laverty just before he purposely jumped from a balcony seven meters above an alley.

The CCTV footage then shows Mr. Laverty placing a foot on top of the balcony rail before launching himself over the side for an unknown reason but perhaps just as a stunt.

Capt. Ekkachai noted that the couple were not even guests at the Thara Patong Beach Resort & Spa where he jumped. Instead, they were staying at the Swissôtel Resort Phuket Patong Beach.

“I went back to question Mr. Laverty again today, but he had been discharged from the hospital. I believe their medical treatment was paid, somehow. Now, they have left Phuket,” he added.

According to Phuket Immigration, Mr. Laverty and his wife left Phuket on Emirates Flight EK397, which took off from Phuket International Airport at 9am and was scheduled to land at Dubai International Airport at 1pm today.

Immigration has been notified of the incident and it is unclear yet whether the Lavertys will be blacklisted from Thailand for their fraud.

Capt. Ekkachai also explained that police cannot pursue any further legal action for intentionally providing misinformation to officials as no written formal complaint had been filed with police.
Story: The Phuket News

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