PATONG: A 37-year-old woman is clinging to life at Vachira Phuket Hospital after her enraged husband of 20 years allegedly beat her over the head with a dumbbell early yesterday morning.

Pol Lt Col Serm Kwannimit identified the victim as Dawan Harnsena, a native of Nongkhai and long-time Patong resident.

After questioning the victim’s younger sister, police learned that Dawan’s likely assailant was her husband, 43-year-old Songdet Harnsena, who fled by motorcycle from the couple’s home on Phisit Gorani Rd after the attack.

Songdet likely became jealous after he went to collect Dawan from work the night before and saw her chatting with a foreign man outside Pizza Hut on Soi Bangla, where Dawan was employed on the night-shift as a dishwasher, said Col Serm.

Songdet, a security guard at the local agent of an international courier service, thought his wife had taken a farang kik (casual sex partner), said the victim’s sister, who lived nearby.

The couple’s ensuing argument turned violent at about 3 am at their home. The weapon used was a dumbbell – not a club, as was previously reported in the Thai-language media, Col Serm said.

Dawan’s sister, Aran Innok, 35, said that the victim worked as a housekeeper at the Phuket Palace hotel in addition to her work at Pizza Hut, he added.

After the attack, Dawan was rushed to Patong Hospital and then transferred to Vachira Phuket Hostital in Phuket City where she underwent emergency surgery for a blood clot in her brain. She is still in a coma, he added.

The victim’s sister told police that the couple have a 19-year-old daughter who is studying in Nongkhai.

The exact motive for the attack won’t be confirmed until Songdet turns himself in for questioning, Col Serm said.

“We are confident he will surrender himself to us soon,” he added.