An Australian tourist and mother of three children, Annice Smoel was arrested in Phuket, Thailand for stealing a ‘bar mat’. She says one of her friends put the mat in her bag as a joke. When undercover police confronted her in the bar, she left the bar, but police caught up with her and she spent the following two nights in a holding cell.

Typical outrage is going on from the Australian media, including who have some interviews with her Australian lawyer, Annice herself and her husband. Australians always seem surprised when they get caught for something overseas, that the government doesn’t come running to get them out of jail.

It is a sad story – a fun night that goes completely wrong, but she now has to face the Thai justice system. Since the story has now broken and international media have picked it up, it will be interesting to see if this will help or hinder her case. She faces two to five years jail time.

There are already talks of Australians planning to boycott visiting Phuket.