A 26-year-old Irishman has been detained in Thailand on suspicion of involvement in his Thai girlfriend's death after she was discovered hanging from a ceiling fan by a white scarf.

Piyamas Bookala (27) was found hanging in a room the couple were renting in north Pattaya yesterday. Her body was discovered by a cleaner. Police said the room was in disarray and the safety box was opened.

Irishman Jonathan Cronin (26) was detained by police when he returned to the couple's room.

Police checked his body and found wounds on the left of his head and around his left ear.

He told police he was attacked by Bookala and then left and slept elsewhere the night before.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Chonnapat, the deputy superintendent, said Cronin denied any connection with his girlfriend's death.

The body was discovered by Goong Glangdon (50), a cleaner at the building yesterday afternoon and police estimate that she had been dead for two hours.

Glangdon told police that the woman had been living in the room with Cronin since 29 April.

She told police that early yesterday morning she spotted Bookala walking downstairs in a drunken state but she didn't pay any particular attention to her.

Later yesterday, when she went to the couple's room, she found her body hanging from the ceiling fan. Cronin was not in the room at the time.

Jumlong Kulsiri (43), a motorbike taxi driver, told police that he had taken Bookala and Cronin to a nearby crocodile farm three days earlier.

Yesterday morning he took Cronin to the 'Pattaya Sauna' in the morning and later to the Big-C shopping mall on North Pattaya road.

Cronin was taken into custody later yesterday as detectives probe the woman's suspicious death.