In General News by Andrew Drummond5 Comments



A young New Zealand tourist who was jailed without entering a plea and without seeing a judge has escaped Thailand and is now safely black home – a clandestine group calling itself ‘Lifeline’ has confirmed.

The tourist who had been touring Thailand and Burma had been jailed for six months by a judge in Phuket even though the 23-year-old from Tauranga, had not been offered an interpreter, NOT BEEN offered a lawyer, not gone before a judge, and THUS not been able to have the chance to enter a court plea.
A spokesman for Lifeline, the organization which arranged his departure from Thailand through an unspecified country said:


“We are pleased to announce that ‘x’ has made it to the safety of Australia and onward to New Zealand. He is home now. This is an occasional service not for criminals but for obvious victims of Thai injustice.”

The young New Zealander had claimed he had been robbed in Bangkok but had no time to report it as he was leaving the following day to Burma. The Bangkok hostel had confirmed the young man and others had had items stolen from them.
He committed the offence by reporting the theft in Phuket claiming, falsely, that it happened there.
According to his mother Phuket Police told him not to worry. He would be charged with a misdemeanor and be fined the following morning in court and allowed to leave after paying his fine.
Said his mother:

“Paper work was completed by the police, and then he was asked to sign a confession written in Thai.
“If he had any idea a prison sentence was to be imposed, he would have asked for a lawyer and an interpreter immediately and also asked to contact the embassy. None of these basic rights were provided and he was essentially lied to by the arresting officer.
“He was told he would need to spend the night in the police cell and go before a judge at court.
“The next morning he was taken to the court cell just expecting to go before a judge to pay a fine and then be released.

Phuket prison

Phuket Prison – Phuketwan

“Whilst waiting in the cell, a court official who spoke broken English came and explicitly told him to sign some more papers so they could assess his fine. They were written in Thai and he was essentially lied to by the court official. At this stage, he had no reason not to believe the police officer and the court official and waited to go before the judge. Little did he know that the police and judicial system in Thailand are corrupt and a law unto themselves.
“He never saw any judge and a court official came back to the cell and said “you have been sentenced to 6 months prison.

“He immediately panicked and asked questions but the official ignored him saying he didn’t understand English. He was thrown straight into prison without any rights to call a lawyer, Embassy or make any outside contact whatsoever. He was also not given any paper work as to the sentencing. When he arrived at the prison cell, the administrator there asked where his paper work was but of course he was given nothing.”

The family heard about his imprisonment a week later when a newly released prisoner notified the New Zealand Embassy.


Jason (Jaysukh Sudra) being grilled. He was jailed in Pattaya without going before a court to enter a plea or having an interpreter or lawyer

In a similar case reported on this site Briton Jaysukh (Jason) Sudra was banged up in prison in Pattaya for allegedly making a false statement to police to collect insurance money. Mr. Sudra did not have an insurance policy to cover theft, only a medical policy.
He too was jailed without seeing the inside of a court. Jason’s daughter Sinita has written a testimonial to this site.

Jason was released after spending a month in the squalor of Phuket after lawyers intervened and the judge dismissed the case.
In the case of the New Zealander the family had to be guided away from lawyers’ ‘agents’ notorious for collecting payments for bail and pocketing them. The family had to pay 180,000 bail to get him out of prison.


  1. vanida

    First thing to do always when got arrested in foreign country, always phone your embassy. It is obvious that this New Zealander tricked into signing something he did not understand or cannot read. Any how, he is much better now and safe back home instead being put on death roles like the 2 Burmese men.

  2. Richard

    Sorry, dony buy it, robbed in bangkok, didn’t report it cause he eas on his was to myanmar, returns to thailand and than makes clim he was ribbed in phuke.
    Got lots of holes in this one andrew

  3. Peter Tudders

    The Thai Police are the lowest of the low, bottom-feeding animals that only know how to bully, coerce, threaten and extort.
    Most of them do not have any morals or ethics whatsoever so do not be expecting them to ‘protect and serve’ as that is not their mode of operation in Thailand.

  4. Slipperx

    I am sorry to say that trickery is used extensively in the justice system in Thailand – it is rife and non-Thais are always at a very very serious disadvantage because documents are King here and always written in Thai script. Once you sign you are doomed. The legal profession in Phuket and Pattaya especially is full of unethical and unprofessional actors who have no notion of duty of care. Even if you get a translator the translation will likely be wrong and designed to get you to sign papers you would never sign if you truly knew what was in them.

    I am sad to say the justice system is racist in so many ways and yet the embassies are so scared of damaging trade that these issues are simply side stepped. In truth the justice system is inadequate to protect trade anyway so the Embassies are doing a disservice to businesses enticing them here. At least foreign investment has dropped significantly, moving to fairer and more welcoming neighbors so there will likely be less victims. Tourists will likely follow if the truth gets out about how Foreigners are abused here.

    1. Thai Scapegoat

      The system, unfortunately, works the same way for Thais. But they know how it works, and speak the language. They know that they either have to pay the police, or plead guilty so they can get a 50% reduction in sentence. There is NO way to win in court, Thai or Farang. It’s like France, once you see a judge and he accepts the case, the judge/s think you are guilty. A trial is just to determine how guilty and set sentence. Thais can explain themselves to the judge and plead for a low sentence, which they usually get. Foreigners cannot, so maximum sentence is usually applied. Thais on average do 1/3 the time foreigners do for the same crime. I know a Thai man who plead guilty to murder and was sentenced to 3 years but only did 14 months. A similar case with a foreigner ended in a 12 year conviction and 7 years in prison. Same charge, similar circumstances, vastly different sentences.
      Fight it out in court and stay in prison (or in Thailand unable to work if lucky enough to get bail) for YEARS while the case goes through up to 3 prosecution appeals. The prosecutor CAN and WILL appeal an innocent verdict or dismissal and most times, if release, the victim never knows about the appeal until the police show up to send them back to prison. Once arrested and in prison there is no point to fighting a case, unless its a serious crime with no maximum sentence, or a credit card case (2 years per card commutative per transaction!). The best outcome is to plead guilty, innocent or not, and get the 50% reduction, do the time, then get the Hxxx out of Thailand. Or, if bail is possible, get bail and RUN.
      If you get arrested by the Thai police, PAY THEM. It’s the only option. Then get out of Thailand.

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