British backpacker JAILED for picking up a lost mobile phone in Thailand
Chris Dodd, 29, from Poole found the device while leaving Thailand’s Chiang Mai airport. Dodd, who worked as a tattoo artist, decided he would hand the phone in to airport authorities later and first went to his hostel before heading outside to get some food. Upon his return to the hostel, he found a group of Thailand police waiting outside his door after authorities spotted him picking up the lost phone on CCTV. Dodd was arrested and charged with theft, facing up to five years in jail.
Under Thailand’s laws, moving an item that does not belong to you to a different location is considered theft.
Dodd was thrown into a Thai prison for more than a week, where prison guards shaved all his dreadlocks off.
Upon his release from prison his passport was confiscated and he was placed on a no fly list, banning him from leaving the country.
He was also ordered to go to court every 12 days. He ended up remaining in the country for more than a month longer than planned while his hellish court battle continued.
Dodd’s family managed to raise £20,000 after setting up a crowdfunding campaign in hopes to hire a lawyer and bail their son out of prison.
His family and their lawyers were able to apply for a “non-prosecution order”, forcing police to drop all charges against him.
The order, which cost £5000, was approved by the Thai Courts last week allowing Dodd to return back home.
Dodd flew back to London on Friday.
His father said: “It’s just such a relief to be honest with you. His mother and girlfriend have been out there with him recently and it was an emotional experience when they all got back.
He added: “We’ve used up pretty much every penny of the crowdfunding campaign and I’m so grateful to everybody who donated to our cause.
“Without them we would have been looking at selling the house, which we would have done, but it would have been incredibly tough.”
Source: Read Full Article