A Canadian woman is facing up to 10 years in prison for allegedly vandalizing an ancient wall in Northern Thailand. Police stated that Brittney Schneider, alongside Briton Furlong Lee, were arrested at their guest house in Chiang Mai for spray-painting messages on a red brick wall, close to Tha Pae Gate.
CCTV video footage from Thursday at approximately 4:00 a.m., show the pair defacing the wall with the words “Scouser Lee,” and the letter “B,” painted on the red bricks. Scouse is a term for someone from Liverpool, although it remains unconfirmed if Lee’s origins are from the northern U.K. city.
According to police, the two 23-year-olds are being held in at the provincial court. Along with the hefty prison sentence, the duo is also facing a fine of one million baht (over $40,000 CAD) for desecrating a registered ancient landmark.
Police Major Anon Cherdchutrakulthong spoke with Reuters, stating:
“They admitted to the crime, saying they did it because of the thrill and they were also a little bit drunk...When people visit somewhere they should know not to (leave) graffiti.”
Cherdchutrakulthong also mentioned Schneider and Lee both appeared to be intoxicated. Lee allegedly told local police that they found the can of spray-paint in the street, and both were unaware that vandalizing the wall was illegal.
Two other individuals seen in the footage were supposedly questioned by police but were released with a warning. The graffiti has since been removed from the historical landmark by municipal workers.
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s fourth largest city, with five historical gates drawing in waves of tourists each year. Tha Pae Gate is one of the most famous attractions in the northern Thai city, and is part of an ancient wall surrounding the inner city of Chiang Mai, dating back to the 13th century.