Gulf War veteran killed in one punch outside Thai bar after bouncer claimed he tried to avoid paying bill

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Mike Jones-Mathias, pictured with wife Victoria, was killed in a one-punch attack (Wales News Service)

A Gulf War veteran was killed in a one-punch attack by a security guard in Thailand, an inquest has heard.

Former Army officer Mike Jones-Mathias, 55, was on a work trip when he went to a bar in Pattaya on his way back to his hotel.

But he called the emergency services in the early hours of the morning - just five minutes before CCTV captured him being punched to the floor.

Security guard Phumphat Tanosingh was charged with grievous bodily harm for the punch and faced a trial in Thailand.

But he was found not guilty after claiming self-defence - claiming Mike had attempted to leave the Mandarin Agogo bar without paying his bill.

Wife Veronica, 50, blasted the verdict, saying: "For the record, I know my husband would never have left a bar without paying a bill.

"What could have happened in that establishment that could make that punch lawful?"

The Gulf War veteran was on a work trip when he went to a bar in Pattaya on his way back to his hotel (Wales News Service)

She questioned why her husband would have called for emergency assistance while in the bar.

CCTV footage played in the inquest showed Mike walking backward in the main street outside.

He throws a punch to the air as he is approached by two Thai men - and is then hit to the floor with one horror punch.

The inquest in Pontypridd, South Wales, heard Mike was at the start of a three-month work trip as a senior operations project manager.

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He had gone for an evening meal with his senior management team but later decided to stop at a bar alone on May 17 last year.

Veronica said: "At no point in the court transcript does it mention the video shown. Why was the video not shown in evidence?

"The judgement was handed down without them knowing that Mike was dead. Had they known I wonder whether or not the conclusion would have been different."

She added her husband put up a "monumental fight" while recovering from his brain injury.

The bouncer who killed Mike claimed he had tried to leave the bar without paying his bill (Wales News Service)

The inquest heard Mike underwent surgery in Thailand for damage to his right frontal lobe and was finally flown to Cardiff six weeks later.

But he tragically died on March 24 this year after his health deteriorated.

Acting senior coroner Graeme Hughes rejected the family's request for a conclusion of unlawful killing.

He said: "I haven't heard any evidence from the assailant. If he was here in the UK then he would be called as a witness and he could be questioned.

"He has not had the opportunity to come before me and make representations to me.

"I have to bear in mind that there was a trial of some sorts in Thailand and as a consequence, he was acquitted.

"I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it would be safe for me to reach unlawful killing."

Recording a narrative conclusion, he said: "The deceased died as a consequence of complications arising from head injuries sustained following a punch to the head."

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