European Court of Human Rights Accepts Case Of Thai Bride & Scots KiltMaker

European Court accepts plea of Thai wife married to Scots kilt maker

Now she claims HE had ‘Turkish delights’


December 25 2011

A Thai wife, who was blocked from returning to Scotland after her kilt-maker husband told British Border Agency officers that she had deserted him and was having an affair, has successfully had her case accepted by the European Court of Human Rights.

Mrs. Kanokrat Booth outside the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

She took the case to Europe after Britain continued to refuse her entry despite a ruling by an Upper Immigration Tribunal that Border Agency officers had acted unlawfully.

And Kanokrat Sinsamuth Booth, 42, said today in Bangkok that if she wins she will fiercely contest a divorce suit her husband 68-yr-old Denis Booth, from Galashiels, has filed with Selkirk Sherriff Court.

She denies ever being unfaithful and claims she may now reveal the ‘Turkish delights’ her husband had whole on sailing holidays in the Mediterranean, if it becomes relevant.

‘It was not I who was the unfaithful one’.

The couple were at pains to celebrate their love. This picture was taken at their Buddhist wedding in Thailand

Mrs. Booth, an author and journalist, from Pathum Thani, 20 miles north west of Bangkok, was turned away by British Border Agency Officers at Glasgow airport in 2010 after an extended holiday with her two children from a previous marriage in Thailand.

Her British residence permit was cancelled. She was locked up at a police station outside the airport and then deported the following day.

But on May 23rd this year Judge Gill confirmed an Immigration Tribunal Appeal ruling that the British Border Agency had exceeded its powers in cancelling her residence permit , locking her up and deporting her.

Their Buddhist wedding was followed by a ‘high society’ wedding in a Bangkok hotel

‘There is no evidence that the marriage had terminated…Accordingly the respondent’s decision was contrary to Regulation (14)2 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006,’ said the judge at the Upper Tribunal.

Mrs. Booth said she had spent over 10 million Thai baht in travel, visas fees, accommodation, in fighting the British government, who despite the Judge’s ruling refused to instate her residence permit so she can fly to Scotland to contest her divorce.

Because the UK had refused her entry some other European countries, such as Holland had followed suit, she said.

‘I want a divorce, of course now. My life has been taken from me. As a married woman in Thailand I am not allowed to do anything like run a business, own a house, or even get a bank loan without my husband’s permission. Thai women should be made aware of this and they may not be able to get into Britain to file for divorce if things go wrong.

‘But my husband is seeking a divorce on the grounds of my alleged desertion. That is false.  He also claimed untruthfully that I had been having an affair. In fact, because he was careless with his emails, I can show it was he who was the unfaithful one.  He had affairs; there was more than one, in Turkey, where he also used to spend long sailing holidays when I went home to see my children.  But I never raised them with him.’

Exchanging rings in Thailand

Kanokrat Booth has written a book about her marriage to Denis Booth as a warning to Thai women planning to marry a foreigner.  It’s called: ‘My wife came from the wrong button’.

The couple had met through an internet dating agency. Whenever they had disagreements, said Kanokrat, Mr. Booth would complain that he clicked the wrong button on the internet.’

Sealing the deal again in Galashiels

The book ‘Miracle of Love – My husband comes from the wrong button!’ was a best seller in Thailand. Mrs. Booth went on to write a book which was critical of the dysfunctional Thai political system.

26 thoughts on “European Court of Human Rights Accepts Case Of Thai Bride & Scots KiltMaker

  1. Makes for a nice headline but the fact that the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear a case hardly means anything, nor will it set any form of precedence for the UKBA. In your article you allude to emails Khun Kanokrat has obtained that show her husband was unfaithful, maybe Khun Kanokrat should be aware of the UK, EU and Scotish laws on obtaining personal electronic communication and the fact they cannot be used in a civil court of law unless the party who wrote the email expressly intended the other party to receive the communication. Any electronic communications obtained in error, or fraudulently, including a party leaving an email account open for viewing on a public or private computer, are treated as tainted. Like I've said every time this charade pops up Khun Kanokrat is abusing a legal system within Europe to gain an advantage that foreign nationals are not entitled to in Thailand for what can only be personal gain, a divorce could have been obtained for far less than the claimed 10 Million Baht already spent on chasing compensation.

  2. Lloyd: While there may be little money in principals, that is clearly what Kanokrat is fighting on. Her husband appears to have not invoked any adulterty claim in his divorce action. It seems clear that if things are said about her in court however she has a right to be there to defend herself against those allegations. She has not indicated that she is suing for adultery. She merely states that contrary to public perception she was not adulterous. It has been known for Thai wives to turn a blind eye to suspected philanderings by their husbands, providing it is not brought home to destroy the family/relationship.
    She is fighting this alone. She did not break any immigration regulations pertaining to her residence visa and a court has already ruled it was wrong of the UKBA to revoke it.
    That fact that foreigners in Thailand have to suffer a much more strict system is neither here or there, though I can understand the feelings of those who feel they have been hard done by. Immigration in the UK is a mess and efforts are being made to sort it.
    But that is also not relevant to this case.

  3. Andrew as was previously pointed out by Westerby the UKBA were in a situation where they were damned if they did and damned if they didn't allow Khun Kanokrat to enter the UK on her original visa as it was due to expire and under the circumstances at the time she would not have been entitled to apply for either an IRL or visa extension based on her status and new visa extension requirements introduced between the time her original visa was issued and the date of her seeking entry. If Khun Kanokrat wishes to contest the divorce she has the ability to apply for a special requirements visa, as well as directly to the Home Secratary for special entry, there is ample presedence, Moynahan 2009 or Philips-Blake 2010, for a visa to be granted to Khun Kanokrat to settle her personal affairs in a manner that would allow her to exersize her right to attend the divorce procedings. Sadly as Khun Kanokrat has taken an aggressive attitude towards the UKBA, and foreign men if you read her book, she will find it very hard to find any sympathy at the UKBA or the Home Office so it is hard to believe principals are her reason for her past and present actions.

  4. Lloyd: I am happy to take the Immigration appeal hearings and the judge's final ruling as the correct interpretation as to what happened.
    When I first covered this story I think I used the terms 'culture shock'.
    Its all borne out of many misunderstandings I am sure.
    Kanokrat has been turned down for a visa. I am sure Her Majesty's Government are not advising her as to how she should apply.

  5. Hi Andrew
    She is lucky to have a court to appeal to,is there an asian court of human rights we can appeal to for all the sht we put up with!no didnt think so and before the whiners can shout ""if you dont like it go home""I dont want to go back to a country that worries about foreigners and their rights more than their own citizens.Give these people the same rights as we get in their home countries,you wont see so many trying to get into Britain then.

  6. I still don't get this action. The woman can contest any divorce petition on whichever grounds strike her fancy but her presence within the jurisdiction isn't actually required. The petition has to be served on her and an acknowledgement of service must be signed by her and returned to the petitioner before it can proceed. So what's the problem? Thousands of acrimonious divorces get bogged down for years and court hearings are never substantive unless a compromise is reached.
    The European Court has long been misused and several countries, notably Britain and Switzerland, are actively seeking to change its remit. There are currently over 180,0000 cases awaiting resolution many of which have no business in cluttering up a court that was meant to decide cases of important principle. Immigration in the Uk is no more of a mess than it is in any other liberal, democratic society operating within the constraints of human rights legislation. If we were to act in a manner more recognisable to a 3rd world, tinpot, corrupted parody of a civilised state then I suspect immigration would be supremely efficient in that no appeal would be available and we wouldn't be having this discussion.
    The Tribunal decision in this case decided that the approach taken in interpreting the European Regulations 2006, i.e a marriage hasn't broken down until formally dissolved,should be adopted in cases arising out of the operation of the Immigration Act 1971. Given the impact this has it is not surprising case workers are in some disarray. It's hardly a mess but will require some significant rethinking of policy. The latest development, that any person who remains illegally in the UK but who has a child with an EU national during the course of that stay is entitled to apply for residence under the Regulations 2006, certainly suggests the current Immigration 1971 is now somewhat redundant.
    Which of course is why the government is now inexorably heading to the point whereby foreign spouses seeking settlement in the first instance will have to surmount considerably higher hurdles than those they currently face viz. sponsor's having to be in receipt of a minimum income of £25,000 per annum, and up to £38,000 if there are children involved, and a command of the English language by the applicant more commensurate with someone seeking entry as a university student.
    I suspect we'll hear a lot more bleating then but as ever, rules are only meant for honest folk and the less deserving will always find a way to thwart them.

  7. Either his evidence of desertion and unreasonable behaviour – which he will be entitled to submit at a divorce court hearing in the uk – was not effectively presented to the ukba and subsequent courts or; more likely I think, she had better and more persuasive lawyers and advisors behind the scenes. The final legal decision is correct on the evidence but the reality as we all know is that there are more thai ladies taking farangs for a ride than there the other way round

  8. 10 million baht spent on this case alone? I didn't think writing in Thailand was rewarded that handsomely.

  9. Mr Booth sure did pick a feisty one.
    It is difficult to feel sorry for her really, and she is somewhat hypocritical given her country's treatment of foreigners with immigration issues. Also where is this all leading to and what is the point of spending 10m baht (at least it wasn't UK tax payers money, not yet anyway). Did her difficulties inspire the book, or visa versa ?

  10. I sympathise with Khun 'Wrong Button' Kanokrat. Anyone hoping to bring their Thai wife to live in the UK had better get their skates on. The UK Government is focusing its efforts on devising methods to exclude Thai, and other foreign spouses, from making the UK their home – regardless of whether their partner lives there, they were married in the UK and for how long, or that their biological children hold full British citizenship or even attend school in the UK. First it was English tests and now an intention to deny your foreign partner entry to the UK if you don't earn more than 25K a year. Perhaps Thailand should reciprocate? If you don't think the State should tell you who you should or shouldn't marry think again. Brazil's economy just overtook the UK's and times they are a changing – fast.

  11. From what I can see, Mrs. Booth is not in the position that she is because of her stance against the UKBA, but because of a malicious(?) allegation made aginst her by her husband that was acted upon by the UKBA. In such a situation, and if she wishes redress, the only course open to her is to take the legal action she has.

    The point that Westerby previously raised is not in defence of the UKBA. Instead he draws attention to the fact that although Mrs. Booth's original appeal was made under the UK's immigration rules, the Upper Tribunal allowed it on the basis of European law, and the awkward position in which this has placed the UKBA.

    Indeed, what is interesting is that the UKBA did not seek leave to appeal. This implies that their legal advice was if they did, and lost, then precedent would be set and Mrs. Booth's circumstances would as equally apply to any estranged spouse seeking to re-enter the UK. Instead, rather than address Mrs. Booth's allowed appeal and grant her re-admittance, the UKBA has simply buried its head in the sand, in the apparent hope that she'll just give up and go away. Consequently, that Mrs. Booth has striven to have the matter heard by the European Court of Justice is to be admired. Should the case get as far as a hearing, and Mrs. Booth be successful, then precedent would be set. With this in mind, I can envisage the UKBA backtracking and Mrs. Booth quietly being given discretionary leave to enter the UK.

  12. Well thanks for your comments here. Little bit surprised that many do not see this in the same way as myself. Geoff/Jeff sorry I know a lot of effort and puns went into your last one by I rejected on the grounds that I am freezing my nether regions off in Chiang Rai and could not hold my bladder long enough to read it all. Back on 2nd

  13. Jeff – thanks for seeing the punny side…sorry, funny. A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too, and all at Andrew – will you be looking back at 2011 and treating us to a 'Rotten Borough' style review? And should Jeff's next puntastic submission coincide with nature's call why not try the Roadbag?

  14. Another interesting detour from the tortuous trail of Mr Noyes Andrew.Though I imagine we are not straying too far from the well beaten pathway before we enjoy a return to the far from straight and narrow.I wish I had obtained the services of Mr Lloyd to represent me at my Thai Trial.His knowledge of law is impressive to say the least.While the Immigration side of this piece is well worth bringing to our attention.I feel perhaps it is a little voyeuristic of you Andrew to report the personal details of this case in such detail.As always when true love departs the theater of dreams.Far more unpleasant emotions are usually waiting in the wings to play their part.And they seem to be center stage already in this production.With both actors most certainly playing to the gallery it is difficult to tell the truth from the drama.Well for me any way.We are obviously only hearing one side of the story here.Is Khun Kanokrat's disclosure of her partners alleged desire for Turkish Delight just a load of Istanbul.Perhaps for her to bring such details out into the open is in far worse taste than any amount of the aforementioned candy.To write a book bad mouthing your ex may be a novel way of making money but it does not help your cause as Lloyd so rightly pointed out.I am surprised someone with Khun Kanokrat's obvious brains and beauty had to use the Net to catch a partner.Though perhaps her feisty manner was not ideal bait when it came to reeling them in.As John rightly said she should be wished the best if only for the courage she displayed in taking on the faceless powers that be.What is it with The U.K.Immigration Services and Thai Ladies.While Bogus Refugees from Worldwide,Pimps and Drug Dealers from The Former Eastern Bloc etc are welcomed with open arms and free housing. Legally married ladies from The Land of Smiles seem to have to undergo a seemingly endless merry go round of interviews in The British Embassy in Bangkok before they are given even the most basic of visas. Small wonder many Love lorn Gentleman give up the battle to bring their Thai lady to The U.K. and make the move to Thailand even though they give up so much in doing so.To end on a upbeat note for every high profile parting of the ways there are thousands of marriages between Thai Ladies and foreign Gentleman that work so well.From what you have told us Andrew yours seems to be one them.Long may it continue.

  15. The Scouser… Even if Khun Kanokrat was to get a ruling in her favour from the EU Court of Human Rights it would not set a precedence as the UKBA would still hold the right of refusal not to grant a visa. THE UK and Ireland were granted an ""opt out"" under the Amsterdam Treaty, 1997, for matters relating to Visa, Asylum and Immigration, this was expanded under the Lisbon Treaty, 2007. Under the revisions agreed to in the Lisbon treaty the UK still holds the Sovereign right to refuse entry, or to grant a visa to, to any non EU citizen. On a brighter note… Happy New Year to all!!!

  16. Jeff – some good points buried away in there. Including the grudge-bearing UK not allowing Thailand to live down its historical refusal to knuckle down and be colonised. Can't you pull some strings back at Buck House? It's the poor ricefield folk wot get the blame.

  17. Lloyd, what you refer to gives the UK an opt out in relation to immigration policy within the EU, but not the effect of the ECJ.

    Consequently, any finding of the ECJ in Mrs. Booth's case would be binding upon the UK government. They could, of course, choose to ignore it, as they have the judgement of the Tribunal, but that would then place them in breach.

  18. Apologies to readers – have been away in Chiang Rai plus there was all that Christmassy New year Stuff – but I have not been idle.
    Flying Sporran will be piping (hot) this weekend, lawyers permitting

  19. It is quiet, isn't it? Eerily quiet. Echo … echo … you can hear a pin drop in here. If I was sharing a trench with Drew Noyes I'd be yelling: INCOMING!! It's 2012 … let battle re-commence!

  20. Happy New Year guys from Bali. Andrew looking foward to new blogs, life is very stale right now!

  21. Hi I need help with my estranged Thai wife status in the UK .is there anyway of getting this from Ukba

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