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

SPCA looking for the best of the best wildlife photos

Wildlife-In-Focus photography contest

World’s largest hockey stick getting new lights

New lighting system can change colours and patterns

VIDEO: Strong cast tells the story of how justice solves all problems in ‘Measure for Measure’

Plenty of passion with dollops of comedy to leaven the story as Shakespeare Festival continues

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read