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

Noisy train whistles to stay at Harrison Mills rail crossing

A majority of residents didn’t want to pay for part of the $390K replacement crossing

HOMEGROWN: Family traditions key to Agassiz dairy farm

Julaine and Johannes Treur are keeping family traditions alive at their organic dairy farm

Vancouver TheatreSports finishes off Harrison’s Season of Performing Arts

Vancovuer TheatreSports will be performing in Harrison on May 4

Job market to remain tight in coming years: report

Conference Board of Canada predicts region’s unemployment rate to remain below five per cent

Chilliwack driver busted with heroin after nodding off behind the wheel

29-year-old man from Vancouver facing possible charges

Harrison Mills band holding contest to decide name

The local cover band will be announcing the winner at a concert on May 3

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

Mayors, First Nations chiefs, urge ‘immediate action’ on new Massey crossing

Joint letter asks province to move up timeline, consider only eight-lane tunnel options

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Most Read