Mr Hulands and and his partner Karyn Connors, 51, were walking past a tuk-tuk stand on Rat U-thit 200 Pi Road, opposite Rock City in Patong, around 2.30am on Tuesday, when several tuk-tuk drivers called out some words, apparently sexual, in relation to the cat-like hat Ms Connors was wearing.
Ms Connors said Mr Hulands then walked back to the drivers and confronted them about what they had said, and asked them to clarify it.
She says the tuk-tuk drivers then pulled her partner to the ground and kicked him. He was taken to Patong Hospital and was later transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket to receive treatment for his severely broken nose and eye socket. He is expected to need plastic surgery.
On Wednesday (August 1) the couple reported the incident to Kathu Police.
“We love Thailand,” Ms Connors said.
“We have nothing to complain about except for this incident and the way we have been treated by police. It’s not okay to beat people senselessly.”
Phuket Police dispute the couple's claims and said the tuk-tuk drivers said it was Mr Hulands who started the fight.
The couple will meet with an official from an Australian Embassy today to discuss the incident.
Both Mr Hulands and Ms Connors have been regular visitors to Phuket over the years. They plan to return to Australia next week.
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