Teacher 'was victim of Thai tribal killing'

DETECTIVES in Thailand investigating the murder of a former music teacher at a Scottish school believe his killer carried out a tribal ritual killing.

David Crisp, 56, was found dead at his home in Chiang Mai, in the north of the country, on Thursday night, police said.

He had reportedly been beaten around the head, had his throat slashed with a six-inch knife and had been smothered with the cloth he used to cover his piano.

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Detectives said the ceiling light in his home office had been smashed – a sign which they said suggested the murderer was a member of the Shan, a hill tribe from the Burma-Thai border.

Police colonel Pattipol Serichaichana said: "Shan believe if they destroy the light the spirits will not see them and they will be harder to catch. The superstition has remained since electricity generators were introduced with difficulty into some hill tribe villages."

Mr Pattipol said inquiries were being carried out around gay bars, said to be frequented by Mr Crisp, in an attempt to locate a young man he is believed to have taken home on Tuesday.

Police said a security guard at the gated community where Mr Crisp lived reported seeing two Thai men driving out of the compound in his car two days before his body was discovered. Police went to the house on Thursday after finding Mr Crisp's car.

Mr Pattipol said Mr Crisp was homosexual but would not say if that was thought to be a motive for his murder. Two other young men, who were invited to live at the back of Mr Crisp's house, have also disappeared.

Glynn Morgan, 70, who met Mr Crisp more than two years ago when he joined The Spirit House Singers, a Chiang Mai-based choir run by Mr Crisp, described him as a "very kind, very thoughtful, very generous and extremely modest" person.

"His house had been trashed and one of his cars stolen. David had held a party at his house on Tuesday and had invited his friends," Mr Morgan said.

Mr Crisp, a classic car enthusiast who was originally from Derby, moved to Thailand in 2007 after taking early retirement from his job as head of music at Lasswade High school in Midlothian where he taught for 30 years. For 20 years he was conductor of the amateur Open Orchestra in Edinburgh.

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A spokesman for the orchestra, said: "We were all really shocked to hear of David's death. He was a top-rate musician."

Councillor Peter Boyes, cabinet member for Education and Communities at Midlothian Council, said: "It is with great sadness that we heard the news of his death in such tragic circumstances."

Briton among kidnapped tourists

A BRITISH man is believed to be among four European tourists kidnapped in west Africa by a suspected rebel gang.

The four, including an elderly German woman and two Swiss, were abducted at gunpoint on Thursday evening near Mali's border with Niger.

Eight men with automatic rifles shot out the tyres on the tourists' all-terrain vehicle, before moving them to another car. Three other tourists and tour guides travelling in two separate cars escaped capture.

The four captives had been attending a festival in Anderamboucane, described as a celebration of Tuareg culture. The trip, costing 2,250 a head, was organised by a German tour operator. It is thought the Briton is resident in Austria.

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