Brit who wrote “Scouser Lee” on landmark in Thailand spared jail
The British tourist who wrote “Scouser Lee” on a major landmark in Thailand has been spared jail.
Lee Furlong, from Liverpool, was arrested along with Canadian tourist Brittney Schneider, 23, after CCTV showed people spraying graffiti on the Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai.
The pair were charged with vandalising registered ancient artifacts and were facing up to 10 years in jail over the incident which happened on October 18 at 4am.
While they have avoided a prison sentence, they were both fined approximately £2,330 or 100,000 Thai baht.
Footage of the incident shows the pair spray painting a wall near the main entrance of the city’s old town.
Lee, 23, can be seen writing “Scouser Lee” on the wall and Schneider admitted to writing “B” beneath it.
Speaking to CTV News Channel, Schneider said the judge originally sentenced her to two years in prison along with the fine.
Schneider said: “My heart literally dropped. I couldn’t hear her [the judge] speaking anymore. I could just see her mouth moving. My legs were shaking and I just wanted to drop to the floor.”
However, the judge quickly reduced the sentence to just the fine and a one-year suspension instead of the prison term.
“I was super excited and thrilled and I didn’t think it was going to go that way at all, but I’m super happy,” she said.
“[The judge] was super compassionate and I’m so thankful for that.
“I’m really excited to go home and put this behind me. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot from this experience.”
Once the paperwork if filed and they are cleared from the travel blacklist, Schneider and Furlong will be allowed to fly home.
Locals have accused the travellers of disrespecting the ancient 13th century monument and their country.
Last month Lee said: “I’d been drinking all day. I’d had some bad news from my family and I went out drinking. I mean, I was really, really drunk.
“I saw the spray can and just picked it up. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing. When I woke up the police were here.
“They took me to the station and I was in shock. I’m just devastated that I’ve done something so stupid. I’m sorry to all the Thai people that have been offended by it. I’ve been an idiot.”