November 8th 2010
Daily Telegraph/ Liverpool Echo
A former British policeman, who was arrested and thrown into a Thai prison on a charge of trafficking a Thai woman for the sex slave trade, was today acquitted at a court in Bangkok after the victim admitted she lied.
Former Liverpool detective Ian Shuttleworth, 50, was released by judges after a Thai woman ‘rescued’ from a brothel in Britain, admitted that she had just told police what they wanted to hear.
‘ I pleaded my innocence from day one and co-operated with all the authorities. Today I received justice. Of course I am pleased, but it has been a nightmare,’ said Mr. Shuttleworth outside the court.
Initially the woman Kalong Saikhamdee,31, from Petchabun, Northern Thailand, said she had been sold into the sex trade and that Shuttleworth had forced her to have sex with her and then taken her to a restaurant in London where she was sold on to a brothel.
But she retracted the story at the Bangkok Criminal Court saying that she was told by other girls that if she said was beaten and raped and forced into prostitution she would be treated better.
Bangkok Criminal Court was shown pictures of her and Shuttleworth in Disneyland, Paris, on a stop-over to visit a sister who had married a Frenchman. The court heard she had travelled abroad many times.
Shuttleworth, from St. Helens, said he had merely agreed to accompany the girl, who had been given a visa, on one of his trips home.
A former murder squad detective he said he was shocked when he was arrested at his apartment in Bangkok in May 2008 following raids in London by the Metropolitan Police Clubs and Vice Squad, which resulted in 30 Thai women being taken out from the sex trade in London.
Subsequently nine Thai citizens appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on April 22 in connection with the trafficking ring which involved five brothels in the London area and details of Shuttleworth’s involvement were given to the Royal Thai Police.
At the time of his arrest Shuttleworth was running a Private Detective Agency in Bangkok and was a popular figure in the expatriate community in Bangkok.