In this Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, photo, Brit Furlong Lee, right, and Canadian Brittney Lorretta Katherine Schneider, second right, stand in front of Tha Pae Gate in Chiang Mai province, northern Bangkok, Thailand. They face up to 10 years in prison on charges of spraying paint on the ancient wall in northern Thailand, police said Friday. (Chiang Mai News via AP)

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

The mother of a Canadian who was arrested in northern Thailand on charges of spraying paint on an ancient wall says her daughter made a drunken mistake.

Tara Schneider, who lives in Grande Prairie, Alta., said she received a phone call from her daughter Brittney around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

“She just said, ‘Mom, I’m in trouble,’” she told The Canadian Press on Friday. “I said, ‘What’s wrong? Are you OK?’

“She said, ‘Ya, I’m OK, but I’m in prison.’ I asked her what she did and she told me, and our phone call ended briefly after as they took her phone shortly after that.”

Security camera footage shows Furlong Lee, 23, and Schneider, 22, spraying a message on the walls of the Tha Pae Gate in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

Col. Teerasak Sriprasert, chief of the Chiang Mai police, said the tourists are in custody and have been charged with vandalizing registered ancient artifacts, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a million baht — or $40,000 — fine.

READ MORE: Cleanup on the way for vandalized monuments at Chinese Cemetery

The chief said the pair admitted spraying the message out of drunken revelry. He said that Lee, who is from Liverpool, admitted that he wrote “Scouser Lee” on the wall, while Brittney told police that she wrote the letter “B” underneath it.

The 13th-century Tha Pae Gate is part of an ancient wall that forms a square around Chiang Mai’s inner city.

Schneider said her daughter told her she was drunk and she was following along.

“After she wrote the letter B, she knew it was wrong right away,” said her mom. “She knew and she discontinued the engagement.”

She said she is overwhelmed by the charges against her daughter.

“You would have to know Brittney to know this is not her,” said Schneider. “She is liked by many, she’s got friends everywhere in the country. People are baffled.

“This is something you’d expect, no word of a lie, from my son. I’m sorry to say it, but not my daughter, not my Brittney.

“She never did a bad thing in her life.”

An official with Global Affairs Canada said the department is aware of the charges against Schneider.

“Consular services are being provided to a Canadian citizen who has been arrested in Thailand,” said a statement from spokesman Philip Hannan. “Canadian consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.”

Schneider’s mom said they have been working with the consulate.

“We’ve currently sent the bail money. The bail was set at 149,000 Thai baht, which is $6,000 Canadian,” she said. “That’s been shipped off in the process and she will be released Monday.”

Schneider said her daughter won’t be able to leave the country until the trial, so she will fly to Thailand as soon as possible to be with her.

“I would like to be there for her during the time she waits for trial so she’s not alone.”

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lacombe County celebrates official opening of the Kuhnen Natural Area

Long-time residents Frank and Rosalie Kuhnen generously donated this land to Lacombe County

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Lacombe Birthplace Forest grows by 5 in 2019

Urban forest recognizes newborns in the community

ATCO gas line work in Lacombe

Lane Closures at the Highway 12/50 Avenue & 58 Street intersection

WATCH: Blackfalds Days Parade takes over community

Floats from all over central Alberta wows crowd

WATCH: Blackfalds Days Parade takes over community

Floats from all over central Alberta wows crowd

Air Canada expects Boeing 737 Max to resume flying by September or October

Air Canada isn’t worried about safety of the planes, says vice-president

More than 700 wildlfire evacuees in Alberta can soon return to Metis community

Evacuees from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement can safely return starting on Thursday

B.C. files second legal challenge against Alberta over turn-off-taps law

B.C. government filed a second lawsuit against Alberta on June 14

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Canada’s commitment is to cut emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 before 2030

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Calgary man facing charges after B.C. police service dog aids in arrest

Heavy police presence results in PSD Jagger finding suspect

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Most Read