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Stevie Bamford in a still from an Australian tv show's promotion

Phuket's 'Cry Rape' Liar To Tell All on TV

Sunday, August 26, 2012
PHUKET: Australian embassy officials and Thai authorities fear ''cry rape'' liar Stevie Bamford is going to tell more fibs on national television this week to gain revenge and make a name for herself.

Ms Bamford, 20, served 15 days in a detention centre on Phuket in July for making a false rape claim to Phuket police.

The Sydney woman - daughter of well-known former rugby league player Peter Tunks - said she was raped early one morning in June by the driver of a tuk-tuk, the local form of taxi on Phuket.

But security camera footage and medical evidence established beyond doubt that she was lying.

Despite her lies, Phuket police and Australian embassy officials remained supportive and treated her with care and consideration at all times, envoys and officers told Phuketwan today.

Now the online trailer for the Australian national current affairs show 'Today Tonight' indicates that Ms Bamford appears to lack a grasp of reality and fails to understand the harm that her lies have caused.

The trailer, promoting an interview that could be screened in Australia as early as Monday night, claims the segment is ''an investigation into how a young Australian woman went from being the victim of a sexual assault on an overseas trip to being treated like a criminal by the authorities.''

The 30-seconds of footage includes shots of razor wire on prison walls, grim clanking prison gates, and Ms Bamford saying: ''I can remember being held down on the floor. I couldn't move . . .''

The truth is quite different. There was never any sexual assault, envoys and police officers told Phuketwan today.

Ms Bamford was ''treated like a criminal'' in the most gentle fashion, and only after a judge found her guilty of lying to police about a rape that did not happen.

Phuket police and Australian embassy officials now believe a gullible television journalist has fallen for Ms Bamford's lies, and ask whether she is being paid to tell her story.

It's extremely rare for Australian embassy officials and Phuket police to be so united on an issue concerning the safety of an Australian tourist.

During nine hours of questioning by Phuket police in June about the alleged rape, Australian honorary consul Larry Cunnimgham, who was present over two days of interviews, consistently defended Ms Bamford and made sure her rights were upheld.

Mr Cunningham was so keeen to protect the young Australian woman that the police later complained to the embassy about his conduct.

When Ms Bamford eventually admitted that she lied and confessed to police, Mr Cunningham was among those most shocked.

Yet now, Mr Cunningham and the police who complained about him agree that Ms Bamford appears to be an unrepentant troublemaker, bent on making more mischief.

''Her lies have made the claims of genuine rape victims more likely to be met with scepticism in Thailand,'' one envoy said today.

''And now it looks as though, for her own selfish motives, she wants to try to talk Australian tourists out of visiting Thailand.''

When Ms Bamford faced court in July, two embassy officials came to Phuket from Bangkok to assist her. They protected her from the media.

After the sentence, she was even allowed to continue her holiday for as long as she wished.

Weeks later, she was shown both the Phuket Prison, where overcrowding is a problem, and the Bang Jo detention centre, where young prisoners are usually housed.

Given the choice of places to serve her sentence, Ms Bamford chose the Bang Jo detention centre. There is no razor wire at Bang Jo and it's considered to be a well-run facility for trusted prisoners.

''Not many Australians in trouble in Thailand are offered those kinds of choices,'' said the envoy. ''The Thai authorities could not have been more gentle or caring with Ms Bamford.''

She was even allowed to continue her holiday after release before choosing her own departure date. Convicted Australian criminals in Thailand are usually flown home as soon as their sentence is completed.

It's understood from the promotion that next week's 'Today Tonight' will trot out the usual often-repeated claims about police in Thailand.

However, in the case of Stevie Bamford, the real news story is the exact opposite to the guesswork provided by instant television experts.

Here, for those who will and those who won't have the chance to see the television show, is an accurate guide to what took place, based on what people close to the case have told Phuketwan:

THE SECURITY CAMERA EVIDENCE

When Stevie Bamford told police in the west coast Phuket holiday hub of Patong that she had been raped, police took her complaint seriously and began an investigation immediately.

However, as the questions continued, they noted that her long fingernails remained unbroken.

They also became even more suspicious when Ms Bamford and her boyfriend resumed their holiday immediately, uncharacteristic behavior for someone who had just been raped.

In the days that followed, police in Patong quickly gathered all the evidence they could.

The most telling evidence proved to be footage from security cameras mounted in nightclubs and bars and on the roadway along Soi Bangla.

One owner of a bar in Soi Bangla, Patong's famous walking street, told Phuketwan: ''The police did a very thorough job. They took security camera footage from virtually all the bars. They did everything by the book.''

According to several people who have seen the footage, the cameras showed Ms Bamford having an argument with her boyfriend at midnight. He headed home to their resort room.

She continued to enjoy herself at a nightclub. At 3.04am, the security cameras show Ms Bamford talking to a tuk-tuk driver at the beach road end of Soi Bangla - presumably negotiating a fare. The conversation ends quickly and she talks instead to motorcycle taxi rider nearby, hops on the back of the motorcycle, and rides off.

Security camera footage shows Ms Bamford arriving back at her resort at 3.11am. She needed money to pay the motorcycle rider but had none.

When she tried to enter the room, it became obvious that the room was locked from the inside. With the motorcycle rider and a receptionist at Ms Bamford's shoulder, the door was eventually opened.

The motorcycle taxi driver said the fare was 100 baht (about $3 Australian) but because he had not been paid promptly and had been kept waiting, 200 baht would be fairer.

Ms Bamford's boyfriend, who had been in the room, threw the money at the motorcycle taxi rider. The motorcycle rider left, but not before noticing - as the receptionist did - that the room had been throughly trashed, apparently by Ms Bamford's boyfriend.

Four days later, Ms Bamford was shown the security camera footage and confessed that she had told a lie about being raped by a tuk-tuk driver - while being held down by two of his companions. She was afraid her boyfriend might be angry.

The boyfriend, who was with Ms Bamford when she saw the footage, turned to her and said: ''Why did you lie to me?''

THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE

Ms Bamford agreed to undergo tests at Patong Hospital. The examining doctor found no sperm, and no signs of bruising or any kind of physical evidence of rape. As police had already noted, her long fingernails were intact.

WHAT PHUKET POLICE SAY

Colonel Kittipong Klaikeaw, the present Deputy Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, which oversees Patong, said today: ''The facts are the facts. It's her right to go on television or radio, but let's not overlook the truth. When we interviewed Ms Bamford, an embassy representative was present al all times. The security camera footage is absolutely conclusive. We gave her a fair and honest hearing, and in the end, she was given a just sentence.''

Colonel Sermphan Sirikong, Superintendent of Kathu Police Station at the time of the Bamford case: ''The first time Ms Bamford came to talk to police, we believed she had been raped. We began a serious investigation. It's our job to make sure tourists are safe on Phuket. As we questioned other people, we discovered there was no supporting evidence for her story. We decided to check what the security camera footage revealed, and the cameras told us all we needed to know. We treated Ms Bamford with respect at all times. When she and her boyfriend said they wanted to change resorts, we even helped them to find a new one.''

The Thai Embassy in Canberra is believed to be likely to lodge a formal complaint with the Australian government if this week's television portrayal of the ''cry rape'' case produces more lies and damages Phuket's reputation.

The promotional trailer can be seen at:
http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/video/watch/30373529/coming-up-on-today-tonight/

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Bogan

Posted by john on August 26, 2012 13:12

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This woman is awful, she should shut up and grow up. Heaven knows how much trauma she caused the accused and his family ....

Posted by bc on August 26, 2012 13:43

Editor Comment:

There was never any specific individual tuk-tuk driver accused. How could there be?

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Odd that the security cameras worked so well in this case?

Posted by Nip on August 26, 2012 14:22

Editor Comment:

Security cameras are constantly being installed and upgraded so it would be foolish to imagine what was true yesterday is true today. Soi Bangla? Well-covered.

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There is no such thing as bad advertising. There will be little or no effect on tourism here. There have been people on various forums for years talking about Phuket being a bad place but the tourists still keep coming. As many people that will not come because of this story there will be 2 or 3 that will come because they here many good stories. Don't worry, Sabai Sabai.

Posted by Ty on August 26, 2012 14:30

Editor Comment:

You miss the point, Ty. The issue is about the truth being told. People who can't tell the difference between right and wrong or don't care are Phuket's biggest problem.

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Not only the girl but the producers of the TV show are at fault here. To introduce the show with the words "''an investigation into how a young Australian woman went from being the victim of a sexual assault on an overseas trip to being treated like a criminal by the authorities.''" is mind boggling. Presumably the TV channel concerned is one of those 'pay for your cheap thrill adult stories' type.

Posted by Pete on August 26, 2012 14:58

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No, spoilt Bogan !

Posted by Harry on August 26, 2012 15:25

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Not only should Ms. Stevie Bamford ashamed. She and all newspapers and media who damage the reputation off Phuket/Patong/Thailand based on lies should be prosecuted and pay compensation if found guilty. We do have our part of wrongdoings here. We do have crimes here. But false and shamefull lies like this "lady" is crying out should be severely punished. I hope the Australian consul will take action.

Posted by PhuketExpat on August 26, 2012 16:58

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Ed..when and where will this trailer be available for viewing...would love to see how this whole thing is portrayed

Posted by sky on August 26, 2012 17:06

Editor Comment:

Try the cut-and-paste link at the end of the report.

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We'll have to wait for the show. After all she went from a victim of sexual assault (at least in her mind) to being a criminal.

Posted by stevenl on August 26, 2012 17:26

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I would like to know, what kind of further investigation besides her rememberings was done by this TV people. As this should blow up in their face. Enabling this woman is just plain awful.

I am sorry for Mr. Cunningham...
You couldn't make this up.

Posted by Lena on August 26, 2012 19:00

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"The Sydney woman - son of well-known former rugby league player Peter Tunks ..."

Posted by Hugh on August 27, 2012 07:38

Editor Comment:

Silly error. We've corrected it. Thanks.

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Until now only the opinion of the police and the local media has been published, maybe she has something legitimate to say or is that not acceptable ?

Posted by Bjarne on August 27, 2012 10:22

Editor Comment:

The article reflects the views of the diplomats and the police, not Phuketwan. Ms Bamford has never shown any indication of being keen to talk to the media, until now. Like the diplomats and the police, we wonder whether she is being paid.

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I posted a link to this story on the TV show's facebook page in the comments section under their story promo ... It has now been removed along with the promo from their facebook page. I wonder why ?

Posted by Lozza2559 on August 27, 2012 15:25

Editor Comment:

You would need to ask them.

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Dear Editor,
Prehaps I should have worded my post better ,The point I was trying to make was that because of the good work by Phuketwan and posting a link on their facebook page ...Maybe the producers or the reporter realised there was more to the story ..Or prehaps they realised how foolish they would look after people had seen your story on their Facebook page.

I can also tell you the story did not run tonight on the program nor was there any promo's for it ..hopefully commonsense has prevailed ...Keep up the good work.

Posted by Lozza2559 on August 27, 2012 16:59

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Typical bogan. I will be watching tonight and if these lies air I will be contacting the station with all the real stories about this liar.
The damage she has done to victims of rape is undeniable and real. It is liars like her who make it more difficult for real victims to be heard.
I am disgusted with her and Today Tonight

Posted by Arthur on August 28, 2012 04:33

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I have complained to Toady Tonight , the ABC Media Watch program and the Australian Broadcasting ombusdman about this tissue of lies.
Thailand and Phuket do not deserve this pack of lies and distortions however it is typical of the program which is the modern equivalent of the old time yellow press.
I cannot image the damage this rubbish will do to real victims of sexual assault but i hope it does not make the Thai police more cynical about real reports of rape.

Posted by Arthur on August 29, 2012 05:28

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Well, I think it is about time that the thai police publish the unedited CCTV recording they built their case on, so that everybody can see for themselves. I noticed in the interview of SB which is available online http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/14688929/trouble-in-paradise
that her dad had a few interesting things to add concerning the Australian consul's advice and reaction after the court case. Maybe this is not as straight forward as many would like it to be. Official comment from the australian consul and the footage from the CCTV and what ever else was used as evidence could help clarify the case.

Posted by Bjarne on August 29, 2012 07:33

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Wouldnt the hotel she was staying at have footage of her arriving at the hotel after the "incident" I cannot believe that the "incident" could go unnoticed by anyone. Did the tuk tuk driver give her a lift back to the hotel after the "incident" She'll be posing for mens magazines next.

Posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2012 13:37

Editor Comment:

She returned to the resort on a motorcycle taxi and the time between when she left Bangla Road and when she arrived back at the resort has been clearly noted and reported.

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add meta kane of millbrook ny to your story. SHES A RAPE LIAR. THERE IS PROOF ON PAPER. RECANT THE DRUNK WROTE HERSELF IN HER CHILDISH WAY.

Posted by Anonymous on November 29, 2012 03:13

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the whole thing was made up i have proof!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2013 15:13


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