Brit Gulf War vet killed by 1 punch from Thai bouncer ‘for not paying bar bill’

A hero Gulf War vet on a work trip to Thailand was killed by a single punch from a bouncer, an inquest heard.

Ex-Squaddie Mike Jones-Matthias, 55, was out with colleagues at the Mandarin Agogo bar in Pattaya, when he received a single blow after being accused of not paying his bill.

CCTV of the horror incident shows Jones-Matthias, a former army officer, exit the bar and walk into the street followed by two Thai security guards.

Images show Mike threw a punch before a bounce floored him with one deadly blow.

Jones-Matthias, who had just begun a three-month trip, was rushed to hospital and received surgery for damage to his right frontal lobe.

He was flown to University Hospital of Wales six weeks later and died on March 24 after his condition worsened.

The 55-year-old dialled emergency number 911 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. The bouncer claimed that Mike had attempted to leave the Mandarin Agogo bar without paying his bill.

Wife Veronica, 50, said: "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?"

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

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

Professor Phillip Smith, of University Hospital of Wales, gave a cause of death as pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and traumatic brain injury.

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

He said: "Yes, it was on the evidence deliberate but was it unlawful?

"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.

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

Mike, of Cowbridge, from the Vale of Glamorgan, graduated as an officer in the Army in 1984 and served in the first Gulf War.

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