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Actress can get minimum-wage compensation for extra time served in prison

Aug 29. 2018
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By The Nation

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Actress Amelia “Amy” Jacobs, a former Miss Teen Thailand, can request compensation for being detained in a remand prison months beyond the court’s ruling, said the Justice Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Thawatchai Thaikeaw on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Amelia can file the request with the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, and it will be paid at the rate of the area’s daily minimum wage for the number of days she spent in custody pending trial beyond what the judge ordered in his ruling, he said.

The actress had been held in remand prison for the 11 months since being arrested last September 19 along with her boyfriend, pub manager Poonyawat Hirantecha, 41, at a Bangkok house. Police seized 70 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 16 ecstasy pills and a weigh scale during the operation. 

Amelia was acquitted on Tuesday of trafficking in drugs, while Poonyawat -– who confessed to trafficking – was sentenced to 25 years, four months and 15 days in prison plus a Bt750,000 fine.

However, the court found Amelia guilty of illicit drug use and handed her a three-month jail term plus a Bt5,000 fine. The imprisonment was also suspended for two years.

She was also ordered into a rehabilitation programme, told to report to a probation officer every three months – including undergoing a drug test – throughout the two-year period, and sentenced to perform 24 hours of social service.

Amelia is not the first person to spend more time in jail than the court later ordered and was was thus entitled to compensation, said Thawatchai. 

Although the Justice Fund is in place to ensure that poor people accused of crimes can apply for bail, Thawatchai said that in certain cases that carry heavy penalties and where police objected to a bail release, the court may choose not to grant temporary release to a suspect.

When a trial later found insufficient evidence to find them guilty of a serious offence, a suspect could receive a sentence that was shorter than the time they had already spent behind bars, he explained. 

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