British man faces 10 years in prison for spraying 'Scouser Lee' on Thai wall

Tourists accused of vandalising 'ancient artefact' in Chiang Mai province

Adam Forrest
Friday 19 October 2018 19:37
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British and Candaian pair may face 10 years in prison after spraying 'Scouser Lee' graffiti on ancient Thai wall

A British man and Canadian woman face up to 10 years in prison for spray graffiti on an ancient wall in northern Thailand.

Security camera footage appears to show two tourists - Lee Furlong, 23, from Liverpool and Brittney Lorretta Katherine Schneider, also 23, from Canada - spraying the messages “Scouser Lee” and "B" on the walls of the Tha Pae Gate – a historic landmark in Chiang Mai province.

Colonel Teerasak Sriprasert, chief of Chiang Mai police, said the pair had admitted to being drunk and spraying graffiti on the wall.

“They admitted to the crime, saying they did it because of the thrill and they were also a little bit drunk.” he said. “When people visit somewhere they should know not to (leave) graffiti.”

They have been charged with vandalising registered ancient artefacts, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of one million baht (around £23,500).

Ms Schneider was also charged with vandalism after she allegedly added her first initial “B” to graffiti scrawled across the fortress wall.

Both remain in police custody in Chiang Mai province. They do not yet have a lawyer.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson told the BBC staff were in touch with the local Thai authorities and “providing assistance to a British man following his arrest”.

According to Thai media reports, the CCTV footage was recovered by police from a cafe near the historic gate and shows the pair spray painting it at 4am on Thursday.

Mr Furlong and Ms Schneider were arrested at their guest house the following day, and taken to the site where they reportedly showed where they had spray painted the wall.

Two others who formed the group of four seen in the video were not arrested.

The 13th century Tha Pae Gate is part of a historic wall that forms a square around Chiang Mai's inner city.

Additional reporting by agencies

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