The British soldier arrested after a prostitute fell to her death as they had ‘strange, extravagant’ sex on a balcony is a convicted rapist on the run from police, it has been claimed.
Reece Vella, from Worcester, was arrested on Sunday afternoon after bar girl Wannipa Janhuathon, 26, fell to her death in the early hours of Saturday in Pattaya,Thailand.
Reece’s family said they were ‘extremely upset’ following his arrest in Thailand, saying he had left Britain months earlier after suffering from PTSD.
The family were concerned for his health, revealing the 25-year-old had not had anything to eat or drink since he was taken into custody.
The former soldier, who followed his two older brothers into the military, quit the army after suffering from PTSD.
Vella served as a private in the Royal Logistics Corps, headquartered at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey, until he left nearly five years ago. During his service, his brother Andrayoss claimed he was one of the top 100 shots in the British Army.
His brother said after leaving the army, he suffered with depression and ‘fell into the wrong crowd’, serving a stint in prison.
But it has transpired this stretch was for the rape of a teenage girl he was convicted of in 2012.
Vella was jailed for almost five years after he admitted raping the girl in Worcester having punched her twice in the face and hit her with a bin lid, according to The Mirror.
The paper claims he was being hunted by police in the UK.
Reece was briefly allowed to make contact with his family on Monday and, according to Andrayoss, said he was being asked for £12,000 to ensure he is given food and water.
Reece also claimed he did not steal a motorcycle, as the police claimed, but that he had hired it and was due to return it on the day he was arrested.
Andrayoss said: ‘I was able to speak to him very briefly. He obviously very stressed. The authorities are going to transfer him to the city’s main jail soon.
‘When you are in the military you have a family around you to support you, and when he left he fell into the wrong crowd. He was exploited really.’
He also said his brother had struggled with drugs in the past and had served a stint in prison.
‘But he had turned his life around,’ he added. ‘He was going to Thailand to make a fresh start.’
The prostitute suffered severe head injuries and multiple fractures after falling naked along with a half-empty packet of sex drugs from an apartment in the notorious tourist resort.
Police searched the empty room – finding clothes and used condoms – then began a manhunt for the Briton amid suspicions that he had fled the scene.
Vella, from Birmingham, West Midlands, was arrested yesterday afternoon at the nearby Route CC Roadhouse bar and was filmed in possession of two mobile phones – one of which police claim was Wannipa’s handset.