Fears killers who bludgeoned Brit backpackers to death in Thailand could be FREED after bombshell prison letters emerge

THE killers of two British backpackers could be freed after bombshell letters from their high-security prison in Thailand have emerged.

Burmese bar workers Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, both 29, were sentenced to death in 2015 for the murders of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23.

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Zaw Lin (right) and Wai Phyo (left) are escorted by a Thai police officer after they were sentenced to death in 2015Credit: EPA
David Miller, 24, suffered shocking head injuries, police said

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David Miller, 24, suffered shocking head injuries, police saidCredit: Handout
Hannah Witheridge, 23, had been raped and bludgeoned to death

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Hannah Witheridge, 23, had been raped and bludgeoned to deathCredit: PA:Press Association
The Brit backpackers were killed as they walked back to their hotel

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The Brit backpackers were killed as they walked back to their hotelCredit: Getty Images

The pair, who have constantly denied the crimes, avoided the death penalty thanks to a royal decree in 2020 but are now demanding a review of the case.

They initially confessed to the killings but then retracted their statements saying they were tortured.

In January, the pair’s legal team contacted Thai officials to demand “clarity” on efforts to lessen their sentences.

However, they were informed that the release dates would not be changed.

Zaw Lin has now written several letters asking to review his case 10 years after the brutal murders on Koh Tao island, Thailand, in 2014.

In letters seen by the Mirror, Zaw Lin made the appeal to his legal team from Thailand’s infamous Bang Kwang Prison, often known as the Bangkok Hilton.

He wrote: “I have been in prison [for] almost 10 years for nothing, it’s unbelievable…

“Could you please retrial again my case? I’ve never seen the people who died on the beach at Koh Tao.

“I want to get out as I am innocent.”

In another letter, he added: “I will be 29 this month. It’s so sad to know that I am wasting my young life away for nothing.

“I think I will get out of prison in a few more years… as I have already been in prison a long time.

Parents of backpacker murderers Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin beg Thai king to spare their sons lives
The killers were forced to do a re-enactment of the murders after confessing

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The killers were forced to do a re-enactment of the murders after confessingCredit: Barcroft Media
Forensics team search for clues after the shocking murders in 2014

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Forensics team search for clues after the shocking murders in 2014Credit: Peter Jordan – The Sun
The pair have constantly denied their involvement in the crimes

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The pair have constantly denied their involvement in the crimes
Zaw Lin's letters were sent from one of these cells in Thailand's infamous Bang Kwang Prison, often known as the Bangkok Hilton

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Zaw Lin’s letters were sent from one of these cells in Thailand’s infamous Bang Kwang Prison, often known as the Bangkok Hilton Credit: Getty

“They should set me free now. I am sad to think I wasted my young life in prison for nothing.”

The killers have long claimed that they were set up, and they accused Thai authorities of conducting a “botched” investigation.

Supporters of the pair also argued they had been framed because their initial confessions were made under duress.

David’s parents have previously criticised online activists supporting the killers, but said they were “grateful” to Thai King Vajiralongkorn for commuting their death sentences.

In broken English – which he has learned in jail – Zaw Lin has now said: “Amnesty is for all who stay with good behaviour in prison.

“I think just [a] few people were released with the amnesties over the years… and go home.

“The rest never saw the amnesties which were delivered between 2020 and 2023.

“I hope the next amnesties won’t be like that as the Government has changed.”

I want to get out as I am innocent.

Zaw Lin

During a police investigation, the two killers were obliged to arrange a crime scene reconstruction.

The pair wore crash helmets, police jackets, and handcuffs while demonstrating how they murdered Hannah and David with a garden hoe.

In another prison letter, Zaw Lin claimed that the forensic evidence tying him to the hoe was flawed.

He wrote: “The DNA they found out is probably from cigarettes and not from the death bodies [sic]. They didn’t actually have any other concrete evidence to convict and give me [the] death sentence.”

Brutal killings

The battered bodies of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found on a beach on the popular tourist island of Koh Tao in September 2014.

The popular holiday spot has been dubbed ‘death island’ after a string of tourists died in shocking circumstances while holidaying there.

Hannah, 23, from Norfolk, had been raped and bludgeoned to death while David 24, from Jersey, suffered head injuries, according to police.

Hannah and David met on Koh Tao while staying at the same hotel in Thailand.

They were last seen at the AC Bar with friends before leaving together after 1am on September 15, 2014.

The pair were killed with a wooden hoe as they walked back to their hotel rooms late at night on a beach.

A beach cleaner found their bodies on Sairee Beach, near their hotel, at around 4.30am.

Hannah had been bludgeoned in the head, while David had received head injuries and drowned.

David was travelling throughout Thailand after completing his undergraduate degree in civil and structural engineering at the University of Leeds.

He was about to begin his master’s degree and was travelling with a pal after finishing a six-week work experience in Australia.

Hannah had a first-class degree from the University of East Anglia and was on her way to get a master’s degree in speech and language therapy in Essex.

A year after her murder, her family said: “She would have gone on to make a significant difference. The world is a less vibrant and much less beautiful place without Hannah in it.”

Activists from Amnesty International during a protest at the entrance of the Bang Kwang high-security prison in 2018

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Activists from Amnesty International during a protest at the entrance of the Bang Kwang high-security prison in 2018Credit: AFP
Letters sent from prison reveal Zaw Lin's wishes to be freed

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Letters sent from prison reveal Zaw Lin’s wishes to be freed
Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo had their death sentence reduced to life in jail

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Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo had their death sentence reduced to life in jailCredit: AP/Associated Press

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