Lydia Riach, 58, from Inverness, was pronounced dead at the police hospital in Bangkok on Sunday night and her cremation was due to be held in a Thai temple in Klong Toey, Bangkok.

Her husband Douglas Riach, 57, a former director of Caledonian Thistle Football Club, said yesterday: “She passed away peacefully. I will be returning home with her ashes on Friday.

“It has been a gruelling week and now the inevitable has happened. In a way it comes as a relief and a blessing.”

Her death means that Thai police are now involved in a murder hunt. No suspects have been arrested but spokesman for Thai Police at Thonglor said: “We have a witness and leads. We will apprehend the killers. This means that this is a murder enquiry now.”

Douglas Riach added: “Please let me take this opportunity to thank all those who have given their support. It has been tremendous and has helped the family through these trying times.

“It has really helped us get through these last few days. The Embassy have also been very good and helped us through the business of sorting out cremation arrangements and organising a ticket so I can get home quickly now.

“I am returning with Lydia on Friday so we can be among relatives and lifelong friends.”

Mrs Riach was attacked by a motorcycle snatch team who grabbed her handbag as she walked in single file behind her husband in a narrow lane of the city’s Sukhumvit Road.

She was wearing the bag around her head and shoulders, which meant she was dragged to the ground and her skull was split on the roadway.