Retired teacher, 74, ‘kills himself in Thailand after fall in value of the Pound meant his pension was worth less and sparked arguments with his wife’
Police in Thailand are trying to establish if a retired British teacher committed suicide because he was receiving lower pension payments.
Trevor Roberts was found dead in the Nan River in Phitsanulok, 300 miles north of Bangkok on Thursday.
Police were told by the 74-year-old’s Thai wife that he had been complaining about his British pension, leading officers to consider whether this could be the reason for his death.
His body was pulled from the river about two hours after he was believed to have drowned – but police could find no immediate reason why he was in the water.
A former language teacher at a college in the Phitsanulok area, Mr Roberts had been living in the town for some 10 years and had recently been receiving a UK pension.
His original home town in the UK has not yet been revealed by police.
His sister-in-law, Phuangthong Nuanjan, has told police that Mr Roberts and his wife had been arguing lately because he was receiving less pension money than before due to changes in the way it was paid.
Although there have been no changes to British pensions, UK citizens living abroad have been hit by a fall in the value of the pound, causing many to suffer such heavy losses that they have even been considering returning home.
In Thailand, British ex-pats have suffered an eight per cent drop in sterling against the Thai baht.
As police try to establish whether Mr Roberts’ death was the result of suicide because of his pension drop, an accident, or foul play, suicide was emerging as the most likely cause.
In his pocket police found his driving licence, 2,640 Thai baht (£59) and keys.
He was wearing a watch and also carried an appointment card for a visit to the town hospital.
Police who spoke to Mr Robert’s wife, Pratheuang Roberts, were told that just two days earlier he had said he wanted to die, but she had thought nothing of it at the time.
As plans were being made for an autopsy, police were continuing to investigate the reason for the Briton’s death.