Siem Reap Province
A FRIEND of a British national who was scalded with boiling oil during an apparent domestic dispute in January met on Wednesday with a Siem Reap provincial court judge, who said he did not know when the case could be brought to trial because the victim is in the UK.
On the night of January 10, after a series of domestic disputes with his Cambodian wife, David Thomas Old, a resident of Siem Reap, was attacked in his home, suffering first- and second-degree burns and losing his sight in one eye.
Police said the attack occurred after an argument between the 61-year-old and his wife, 40-year-old Sut Sina, who live in Sla Kram commune’s Banteay Chas village.
Sut Sina was charged with causing intentional injury and remains in pretrial detention, but her nephew, who is believed to have been involved in the attack, has not been apprehended.
Old travelled to Bangkok to receive treatment shortly after the attack, and he has since returned to the UK.
Nguon Nara, the Siem Reap provincial court judge who met Old’s friend, Vaughan Stephens, told him it would be difficult to bring the case to trial if Old did not appear at the court.
“I am a judge. I want an answer from the victim, but he has not yet come, and I cannot fly to London,” he told the Post after the meeting.
According to Stephens, the judge also said Sut Sina would have the right to ask for her release on bail, though he said the court would likely detain her for an additional four to six months.
Stephens said that he did not want Sut Sina to be released due to the serious nature of the injuries Old sustained, saying that 60 percent of Old’s body had been burned, and that he would be permanently blind in one eye as a result of the attack.
“Everyone has the right to request to go free, but because of this situation and how bad the crime is, hopefully the judge will understand that this person should not go free because she is a dangerous person,” Stephens said.
He added: “The expat community in Siem Reap is very worried, because a crime like this could happen against them, and they could get no justice.”