Grandfather-of-four, 67, is killed ‘by touching budget hotel’s live handrail’ leaving family to raise £10,000 to fly his body home
A grandfather-of-four was electrocuted on holiday by a handrail that allegedly became ‘live’ in a budget hotel in Thailand.
Father-of-six Shaun Walley, 67, a tradesman from Stockport, had been visiting a friend in Thailand when he apparently touched a steel balcony handrail that was live with an electric current due to a faulty light box sign.
The hotel in Chonburi have reportedly admitted the accident on October 19 was their fault, but have informed Mr Walley’s family they can’t afford to help.
Now his step-daughter Ramona Brooks, 36, who is five months pregnant, is trying to raise £10,000 to cover the costs of bringing his body home so they can bury him.
Ms Brooks, from Hazel Grove, in Greater Manchester, said: ‘We are so upset and angry that no one is going to pay for it. We want justice. It’s not just like it was a small accident. It cost him his life.
‘It all feels like a bit of a blur. It has been very manic. I have never dealt with anything so traumatic before.
‘Even though everyone is dying inside we’ve just had to put a stop to that. It’s all been a matter of urgency. It isn’t the best idea to get panicked when I’m pregnant as well.
‘I couldn’t tell you if I thought these past few weeks have dragged or flown by. I have been on the phone running around like a headless chicken.
‘We are a really big close family. It is just crazy. We have lost people in the family before and we have all come together which is a heart-warming thing but this is different.’
Ms Brooks received a phone call from a member of staff at the hotel on Thursday October 19 to tell her about her father’s death.
However she said she only found out exactly what happened a week and a half later after speaking to one of his friends in Thailand.
She claimed police and the local electric board have confirmed the hotel are at fault and prosecution is pending. She said they were also raising funds to fight the hotel in court, as well as paying for her flight to Thailand to represent him.
Ms Brooks, a recruitment consultant, said: ‘I feel really lost because it happened abroad. The hotel don’t have any money and they are admitting it is their fault but they can’t pay for it.
‘My family are relying on me to get an outcome. We are just trying to get him home to get laid to rest properly.
‘We are now looking for help from family and friends and we will have to go from there. We have also set up a Just Giving page.
‘I’m five months pregnant and going through all of this as well is a bit trying. When we do fight them [the hotel] I’m going to have to represent the family as I’m the oldest in the family.
‘My mum is too upset to deal with all of this so I have to take the reins. It has been really stressful. We are a bit stuck.
‘I’m a bit of a control freak. If it had happened over here I would have dealt with it straight away but because it is all the way over there I can’t. My brothers didn’t believe me at first.
‘We aren’t just dealing with his death and that he is still stuck in a foreign country with no family members around him.
‘We also have to come to the realisation that we are looking to prosecute a company for gross negligence that have financial difficulties in a very poor country.
‘They cannot even assist with an urgent repatriation so we can lay him to rest.
‘It is looking likely we will not be receiving financial support from the hotel in any way and even after prosecution which will be a long drawn out process.’
The police officer in charge of the case in Thailand has been approached via phone and email but has yet to respond.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: ‘Our staff are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Thailand, and will continue to assist them at this very difficult time.’
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