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

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Most Read