Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Backpacker Luke Miller 'drowned in pool'

Koh Tao - generic Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Luke Miller had been on holiday on the island of Koh Tao

The cause of the death of a British backpacker who died on holiday in Thailand was drowning, local police have said.

Luke Miller, 26, from the Isle of Wight, was found dead in a swimming pool on the island of Koh Tao.

Col Napa Senatip of Koh Tao police station said the cause was determined following a post-mortem examination.

Luke's mother Sara Cotton told the BBC parents should not allow their children to go to the island.

She said: "This has ripped my heart out... Luke was living the dream out there.

"He had a tattoo saying 'living the dream' and that was what he was doing... I personally didn't want him to go though.

"He had thousands of friends and was a fun-loving son who was just living life to the full.

"If I knew then what I know now about that island, he wouldn't have gone. I would've hidden his passport. I don't think parents should let their kids go out there to this island."

Regarding Mr Miller's death, Col Napa Senatip told the BBC: "According to our investigation, this is not a murder."

In September 2014, two British backpackers, Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were murdered on a beach on the island.

Two migrant workers were found guilty of their murders and sentenced to death last month.

Beach bar

Mr Miller was a brick layer, who had moved to Portsmouth from the Isle of Wight, and was one of seven children.

He left the UK on 22 December to spend Christmas and the New Year on the Thai holiday island.

According to police his body was found on Friday morning at Sunset Bar on Sairee Beach.

Witnesses and CCTV footage at the bar showed he was there until the early hours of the morning.

But the security guards who regularly search the pool for lost belongings after parties did not find Mr Miller when they made a search at 05:30 local time. He was discovered at about 07:20.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman has confirmed it is providing assistance to his family.

An online appeal to help repatriate Mr Miller's body has so far raised more than £7,000.

Ms Cotton said: "I just want him home. All I want now is my son back, no parent should have to go through this.

"I can't thank the person who set up this fundraising page enough, it's amazing what they've done.

"I've paid for my funeral and my husband's already - but you never think you'll have to pay for your son's."

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