Anorak News | Briton Faces Two Years In Thai Jail For Being Rude

Briton Faces Two Years In Thai Jail For Being Rude

by | 3rd, March 2009

IN Thailand, Simon Burrowes, of Wembley, north London, is facing a two-year sentence in a Thai prison for being “rude” to an official.

Burrowes arrived at Phuket airport, ready to fly to Britain after a holiday. He was stopped.

Says Burrowes to The Voice:

“A woman at immigration was looking at my passport and then handed it to the man behind her. I was ushered to sit down whilst he took out a magnifying glass and proceeded to check my passport for half an hour.”

A forged passport? He was told he would not be leaving. He was taken to a detention centre.

Burrowes continues:

“I’m a black man so I’m used to getting hassle at airports, but I was shocked by this.”

For three weeks, the 44-year old was held in a prison cell.

“Thai prisons are notorious for being some of the worst. There is no privacy. You go to the toilet in the open and there is no toilet paper. There were guys in there that had scabies and were next to me.”

He contacted the British Consulate. They confirmed that his passport was genuine.

“I was disgusted and beside myself. People talk of them [the British Consulate] like they are the cavalry. If you have issues abroad they come charging to help. But they didn’t really help me.”

So he’s free to go? No. Burrowes was then charged with “rude and aggressive behaviour” towards an immigration officer. He denies the claim. He has posted £2,000 bail. He must remain in Thailand until his trial begins on April 26, and his lawyer has warned he could face a two-year jail sentence.

“I have to find some way to sustain myself financially while I am here. I went to Thailand to enjoy the land, learn the culture and spend some money. It’s turned into a nightmare.

“If they find me guilty, who knows what will happen. I met people in prison who are doing five years for having two spliffs on them. It’s very difficult to hold yourself up in a Thai prison. I feel very bitter about what has happened.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London told The Voice they are investigating.

Posted: 3rd, March 2009 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink