The body of British yachtsman Malcolm Robertson, who was brutally murdered at sea and thrown overboard, has been found off the coast of southern Thailand.

Fishermen found Robertson's body 10 nautical miles north of Satun's Lipeh Island on Monday, a week after he was attacked by three teenage Burmese pirates who boarded his yacht.

It is believed the businessman, 64, from Hastings, East Sussex, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer and thrown overboard off the Andaman sea coast as he sailed with his wife Linda.

The couple's four grown children, two each from previous marriages, flew to Thailand to support Linda Robertson as intensive efforts by the Thai authorities were made to find his body.

Robertson's family said they felt nearer to bringing closure to the case following the discovery of his body.

The family had to endure several false reports of his body being found earlier when official confirmation came that fishermen had discovered Robertson in the sea.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman confirmed the body was that of Robertson and that an embassy team with his family was providing consular support.

The find should enable Thai police to lay murder charges against the three migrant workers who were arrested on a raft about half a mile from the couple's 44 foot yacht.

Thai police said the three teenagers, aged 19, 18 and 17, confessed to the killing but were only charged with kidnap, assault and theft as the body would need to be found to lay murder charges.

Robertson's brother, John Clee, 63, said: "This sorts a lot of things out. We know that charges can now be laid against those responsible.

"Not only that, but my sister can also bring her husband home and hopefully bring some closure to this whole thing."

Clee, from Battle, near Hastings, said the family felt a sense of relief as it had been their greatest fear that his body would never be found.

He said that 57-year-old Linda Robertson, who escaped with minor injuries, was feeling "totally drained" after being told the news.

She detailed her ordeal during 10 hours of testimony in a court in Satun last week, describing how the attackers tied her hands and feet and how she heard her husband tell them: "Get off my boat."

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