PHUKET: An Australian woman who told Phuket police that she had been raped but subsequently confessed to lying has been sentenced to 15 days in jail. Stevie Bamford told the court she invented the rape story because she feared her boyfriend would be angry that she was out late. She will be held at Bang Jo detention centre rather than in Phuket Prison.
PHUKET: An Australian tourist who told Phuket police that she had been raped by a Patong tuk-tuk driver has confessed to police that she lied and will appear in court today to face a charge.
The 21-year-old from Sydney confessed to police in the west coast holiday hub of Patong last night after being shown security camera footage that proved she was lying, police said.
The Deputy Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Sermphan Sirikong, told Phuketwan today: ''It's sad that tourists have to lie about this kind of thing. It could damage Phuket's tourism industry.''
The woman is to appear in Phuket Provincial Court with an Australian Embassy official by her side today.
Colonel Sermphan said the woman confessed late last night at Kathu Police Station after being shown the security camera footage.
Her boyfriend, also aged 21, was extremely angry when the woman confessed and appeared to have been misled by her through the week of lies.
The woman and her boyfriend went to Phuket police at 4am on Sunday alleging that she had been raped by a Phuket tuk-tuk driver.
Her story was that that she had become separated from her boyfriend in Patong's popular Soi Bangla walking street, and that she had caught a tuk-tuk back to the resort where she and her boyfriend were staying.
The woman told police that the tuk-tuk driver picked up two of his friends along the way, and that the tuk-tuk transported her to a quiet part of Patong where the driver raped her while the second man held her arms and the third held her legs.
Last night, after two days of intensive questioning on Monday and Tuesday, police revealed that security camera footage established that the woman caught a motorcycle taxi back to her resort.
There is nothing on the security camera footage to support the woman's argument that she caught a tuk-tuk and was raped by the driver, police told Phuketwan.
The woman told police that she held dual British and Australian citizenship, and had used her Australian passport to come to Phuket.
The men in the tuk-tuk had kept her Australian passport and some cash in a bag when she managed to break free and escape on foot, she told police.
The woman was given consular support when she was interviewed intensively over two days.
The case is now being overseen by Phuket Police Commander Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun.
Rape victims cannot be named and Phuketwan has decided this case remains so unusual that the woman should not be named at this stage.
The question that most people will be asking about the case is: Why?