'Jealous hater' started Bangkok bomb rumour about model
A BALLINA-raised fashion model and English tutor has shared his ordeal after being mistaken as the suspect behind the deadly bombing of the Hindu Shrine in central Bangkok on Monday.
Social media users had begun pointing out similarities between Sunny Burns, who attended Ballina's Emmanuel Anglican College, and a yellow t-shirt clad suspect seen in CCTV footage, which prompted Mr Burns to hand himself in.
The blast in the Thai capital on Monday killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100.
Mr Burns, 26, shared how police searched his home for bombs and interrogated him about his religion.
He posted a selfie to his Instagram account from his meeting with police, saying: "Talking with the police. I forgive everyone who spread those horrible rumours about me.
"I love this country and let's fight together. Let's find this bomber."
He said that he was shocked that he was being likened to the suspect recorded on widely-circulated CCTV footage because he "would never wear those clothes... I'm a fashion blogger."
"I really need a protein shake and a big hug. This is all because of social media and some jealous hater spreading gossip," he wrote.
"Mum I'm safe and more worried about the people injured in the attack."
Mr Burns later posted on Instagram stills of CCTV footage he said showed his whereabouts when the attack took place.
"Here is the CCTV footage of where I was yesterday when I got back from the muscle lab gym in Huai Kwang and getting ready to teach my Native Speaker class.
"The Royal Police has this and I would like to thank them for looking after me and being so supportive," he continued in the post.
Here is the CV TV footage of where I was yesterday when I just got back from the muscle lab gym in Huai Kwang and getting ready to teach my Native Speaker class. The Royal Police has this and I would like to thank them for looking after me and being so supportive. Thank you for all your support and wish I could give my mumma a big hug. I will be speaking with media tomorrow but please let me sleep now. It's not a nice feeling being called a terrorist but phom yung rak khun prated thai #prayforthailand
He also wrote how he wished he could give his mum, a Ballina local, "a big hug".
Far from the profile of a mass murder suspect, Mr Burns is aspiring actor, fashion model and private English tutor who recently launched a travel and fashion blog called sunny-burns.com.
He also played a supporting role in an episode of a Thai TV serial, called Wifi Society, as the love interest of the Thai star who gets amnesia after a head injury.
Burns is followed by more than 6000 people in Facebook where he posts images from regular fashion shoots.
According to fashion blog Fashion156, he is training in martial arts and hopes to get into shooting action films.