A British tourist and his wife fled Thailand today after police said their claim of being mugged at gun-point was a FAKE.
Mik Lavertry and wife Denise were the subject of a donations page seeking 10k ‘’to get them home’’.
It was reported that Mik, an ex-serviceman, had arrived on the island to celebrate his 50th birthday but was robbed at gunpoint, had his legs broken and taken to hospital – all while his wife popped into a bar to use the toilet last Thursday.
Police in Phuket, Thailand, today said that the couple’s story was ‘’complete nonsense’’ and that Mik had actually jumped off a hotel balcony and plunged six or seven feet to the ground below.
CCTV footage shows Mik, also known as Michael, from Newton Aycliffe, Durham, stumbling along a hotel corridor before bizarrely leaping off the side of the building.
He was found on the ground below in pain by hotel staff at 00:10 on November 3.
Capt Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police said today: ‘’The man’s story was bulls***. It didn’t happen.
‘’CCTV shows him jumping off the edge of a hotel balcony. Staff heard him shouting and called an ambulance.
‘’This was on Saturday night.
‘’Tourist police received a report from his wife on Saturday morning that said he had been attacked.
‘’We took that claim very seriously and investigated it, but it did not take long for the story to become clear.”
Capt Ekkachai said the couple claimed Mik had been attacked at the Thara Patong Beach Resort & Spa. They said his watch had been stolen.
They were staying at a different hotel after arriving earlier that day and had wandered into the resort where he jumped over the balcony.
Officers interviewed Mik in hospital but became suspicious when he claimed he was attacked and wanted a police report for insurance purposes.
They checked CCTV which shows him stumbling along the corridor before clambering over a rail.
Staff at the hotel also gave details which didn’t match the tourist’s version of events.
Capt Ekkachai said the couple arrived together in the hotel lobby and then Mik went to the first floor and began trying to pull doors open.
Officers ignored the couple’s claims of being attacked and did not make a report for their insurance claim. They left the case.
But after the incident was widely reported yesterday (Mon) they went to the Bangkok Phuket Hospital today (Tue) to interview Mik again but he had already left. Immigration documents also showed that he had left the country on a plane bound for Dubai at 9.22am.
Police said they were powerless to take further action against the couple.