Two tourists face possible jail time after being caught on camera spray-painting an ancient wall in Thailand.
Lee Furlong of England and Brittney Schneider of Canada were arrested last Thursday after closed-circuit TV footage showed the pair spray-painting the Tha Phae Gate, a historic landmark in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Schneider explained to The Canadian Press that she’d been out with a few others and was “ridiculously drunk” when they defaced the brick wall.
Though the two admitted to the crime, Police Major Anon Cherdchutrakulthong told Reuters that “when people visit somewhere they should know not to [leave] graffiti.”
The pair could face either up to 10 years in jail, a fine of 1 million baht (about $30,000) or both, according to the outlet. But Schneider feels she doesn’t deserve jail time.
“A big fine definitely, but I don’t think I deserve prison for this,” Schneider told CBC Radio. “What I did was wrong and I know that.”
The Canadian tourist explained that she and a few others came across a spray-paint bottle while walking back to their hostel after a night out, according to The Canadian Press. Furlong admitted to writing “Scouser Lee” on the wall, and Schneider painted “B” right underneath.
“I finished writing the ‘B’ and I stopped because I knew it was bad,” she told the outlet. “But it was already too late.”
Schneider said she barely remembered the incident the next morning
“The next morning, I was sitting by the pool and it clicked in my brain and I remembered what we did,” Schneider told CBC News. “I looked over to the guy beside me and I said, ‘Oh, my God, I just remembered what we did last night.’”
An hour later, the pair was arrested, she said.
Furlong’s mother told The Telegraph that her son’s trip to Thailand was his first trip abroad and that she is disappointed in him.
“I am devastated it’s happened in a historic place. If I could go over to Thailand and clean it off myself then I would,” she said. “I would also apologize to everyone he’s offended. That’s not how he was brought up but he’s done a stupid thing.”
The Tha Phae Gate is part of a wall that once surrounded Chiang Mai’s Old City. The brick wall dates back to the 13th century and was part of a fortress.