Sydney woman appeals Thai jail term

June 25, 2012

A 21-year-old Sydney woman sentenced to 15 days jail in Phuket for falsely claiming she was assaulted by a taxi driver is appealing the verdict and has been granted bail.

Stevie Rochelle Bamford was initially found guilty by a Phuket provincial court on June 15 of making false claims after telling Thai police a local taxi driver, with two other men restraining her, carried out the assault in the early hours of Sunday June 10.

However, CCTV footage later revealed she had returned to her hotel safely after becoming separated from her Australian boyfriend.

Phuket police interviewed Bamford for two days before she confessed to fabricating the story. She was held in local police cells before the court hearing.

Bamford was sentenced to serve the 15-day prison term at a low security detention centre on the outskirts of Phuket rather than in an adult women’s jail.

She is the daughter of former Australian league player Peter Tunks, who has appealed to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra to assist his daughter.

Tunks told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph the whole family was “extremely concerned” about his daughter’s welfare and wanted her back in Australia.

“It’s obviously been a worrying time but we’re hopeful to have her back home safely as soon as possible,” Tunks said.

Bamford is appealing the sentence and has been granted bail of 50,000 baht (A$1600).

Reports in Australia on Sunday said that in the meantime, she was holidaying at the resort area of Krabi in Southern Thailand.

Thai-based legal sources said Bamford was being represented by a local lawyer in Phuket but warned that the appeal may lead to the court increasing her sentence by up to two years and forcing her to serve it in an adult prison.

However, following the recent murder of Australian travel agent Michelle Smith in Phuket, Thailand may also be looking to repair its battered tourist image, leading to an acquittal.


5 Responses to Sydney woman appeals Thai jail term

  1. Mia
    July 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

    You can’t just lie about something so serious! I dont care who her father is. She is very immature…and just why? Why would you lie about being assaulted?

    15 days is not very long. She’s really luckly it wasn’t more. Do the time and never travel again until you can treat the locals with respect!

    • Perijon
      July 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
      When in any foreign country obey the law of that country.
      Westerners travelling in South East Asia have a self-rightous attitude, like some Christians I know.
      We don’t have global legal dictatorship yet, thanks.
      If you don’t like the laws, don’t go there.
      I love Thailand and it’s people.
      Learn to embrace it and it will embrace you.
      Sawadee Krap!

      • radi
        August 2, 2012 at 4:47 am

        this selfish bit… just wanted to show something up to someone(her boyfriend perhaps)its good such people never travel again to thailand.phuket people have the nicest attitude among thais specialy with farangs i love this contry and i fully respect phukets people back.
        long live the king.

  2. Teresa
    July 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    This crime could have got the taxi driver a very long sentence. She is a silly girl given a very lenient sentence- do the crime princess! Her dad needs to leave it alone – if she gets away with this then she what else will she get up to – enjoy your ‘holiday’ in Krabi

  3. sam
    July 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    my thoughts exactly, I know from people I have met-he would have gotten 1-2 years in a prison that destroys your health-i know i was there for a month and felt like crap.. next time think twice before you play with an innocent mans life-15days is the appropriate sentence especially considering she will KNOW it’s only 15 days, whan I was there i had no idea when i was getting out and thought it was gonna be 3 while the lawyer got my case to trial early since it was a minor offense.

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