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American expat avoids jail for negative review - reaches settlement with Koh Chang hotel


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American expat avoids jail for negative review - reaches settlement with Koh Chang hotel

 

1pm.jpg

Picture: Siam Rath

 

The defamation case against an American man who posted damaging reviews about a hotel in Koh Chang has been settled after he admitted lying and apologized. 

 

Wesley Barnes' spat with the Sea View Hotel made headline news not just in Thailand but around the world. 

 

Now Mr Barnes, who reportedly lives and works in Thailand, has agreed a four point plan to allow the hotel to drop the defamation charges against him. 

 

He promises to contact media throughout the world outlining his contrition, apologise to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, inform his embassy and ask Trip Advisor to remove damaging labels about the hotel.

 

In a Siam Rath story the chief of police on the holiday island also explained the circumstances as to how Mr Barnes ended up being jailed for two days following his arrest when he was brought back to Koh Chang. 

 

Yesterday morning Attapol Suwannajan, a lawyer acting for Mr Barnes, took him to the hotel where they met hotel rep Pitcha Rattanawong and the lawyer acting for the hotel Tinyaphat Meepetchatthamongkhol. 

 

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Picture: Siam Rath

 

The chief of the Koh Chang police Pol Col Kitti Maleehuan was in attendance as a mediating witness. 

 

Tinyaphat said that Mr Barnes came to stay with a friend on June 27th and 28th. He used the restaurant and there was an argument over corkage, a fee that the hotel was legitimately able to charge. Mr Barnes refused to pay and an argument ensued.

 

The restaurant manager was called and he allowed the guest not to pay. 

 

However, from June 29th Mr Barnes started posting damaging reviews and comments on foreign sites and a great deal of websites. Attempts to mediate with him failed and the hotel ultimately decided to sue for defamation. 

 

As soon as Mr Barnes accepted a plan to settle the case and issue an apology the hotel agreed they would end the case, said the lawyer who mentioned the Thai law, mutual respect and fairness in his remarks. 

 

Through an interpreter Mr Barnes thanked the hotel and the police for accepting his sincere apology. He was happy to issue it. 

 

But it was not a casual "sorry" - it came with a four point document outlining what Mr Barnes must do for the hotel to drop the case:

 

He promised:

 

1. To issue a heartfelt and full apology to the hotel and staff and issue copies with the reasons for his actions to the following media: CNN, ABC, the Daily Mail, BBC, Insider, The Morning Call, The Sun, CBS, the Independent, NBC, Fox, Reuters, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Bangkok Post and AFP stating:

 

"I, Mr Barnes, am sorry for lying in my review that defamed the hotel".

 

He further promised to address untrue comments and slurs that he made regarding slavery, the nationaity of staff and coronavirus (things that he repeated many, many times, according to the document).

 

The statement continued:

 

"Nothing about my reviews was true at all". He admitted to getting 'carried away" and accepted that he was totally in the wrong and had expressed this to the hotel. 

 

As part of this section of the agreement the hotel agreed to accept his apology, thank him for it and drop the case.

 

All this was to be conveyed to the media. 

 

2. He must issue a letter of apology to the Trat branch of the TAT apologizing for damaging tourism in the province.

 

3. He must contact the Embassy of the United States with the truth of the matter.

 

4. He must contact Trip Advisor about his wrong doing and why he was prosecuted in Thailand. He must ask them to remove a "Red Badge" from the Sea View page and seek assurances from Trip Advisor that they will not advise guests to avoid the hotel.

 

The settlement further said that Mr Barnes agrees to enact points 1-4 by the end of this month after which the hotel will remove its petition for defamation with the court. 

 

Mr Barnes gave no further comment to the media, saying they should use any comments from the written agreement. 

 

Pol Col Kitti expressed relief that the matter had been settled. Complaints regarding charges under the Computer Crime Law could be settled in this way by mutual agreement. 

 

He explained that the suspect was arrested on a Friday and brought to Koh Chang and appeared in court on the Saturday morning.

 

However neither his wife nor a bond bailsman appeared to post bail in time so he was held in prison for two days until Monday.

 

On Monday the suspect's wife arrived to post 100,000 baht bail and he was released. 

 

He requested that Mr Barnes explain this to the media. 

 

Source: Siam Rath

 

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-10-09
 
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I too have studied dogs. Sometimes they put their tail down. He works here too though. Damn, they are all about 'making a wrong a right.' Petty, in my view.

 

But IMO, it is still a big inconvenience to not be able to bring in me own drink.

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12 minutes ago, webfact said:

He promises to contact media throughout the world outlining his contrition, apologise to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, inform his embassy and ask Trip Advisor to remove damaging labels about the hotel

No mention of sackcloth and ashes, so he got off lightly 🙄

regards Worgeordie

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19 minutes ago, webfact said:

He promised:

 

1. To issue a heartfelt and full apology to the hotel and staff and issue copies with the reasons for his actions to the following media: CNN, ABC, the Daily Mail, BBC, Insider, The Morning Call, The Sun, CBS, the Independent, NBC, Fox, Reuters, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Bangkok Post and AFP stating:

 

"I, Mr Barnes, am sorry for lying in my review that defamed the hotel".

 

He further promised to address untrue comments and slurs that he made regarding slavery, the nationaity of staff and coronavirus (things that he repeated many, many times, according to the document).

 

The statement continued:

 

"Nothing about my reviews was true at all". He admitted to getting 'carried away" and accepted that he was totally in the wrong and had expressed this to the hotel. 

 

As part of this section of the agreement the hotel agreed to accept his apology, thank him for it and drop the case.

 

All this was to be conveyed to the media. 

 

2. He must issue a letter of apology to the Trat branch of the TAT apologizing for damaging tourism in the province.

 

3. He must contact the Embassy of the United States with the truth of the matter.

 

4. He must contact Trip Advisor about his wrong doing and why he was prosecuted in Thailand. He must ask them to remove a "Red Badge" from the Sea View page and seek assurances from Trip Advisor that they will not advise guests to avoid the hotel.

you forgot pat your head and rub your stomach. 

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12 minutes ago, Solinvictus said:

 

 

But IMO, it is still a big inconvenience to not be able to bring in me own drink.

You can bring in your own drink, but like establishments all over the world they charge a corkage fee. This is a common and well accepted practice.

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The regime has once again decided to protect the bigger guy, over the smaller guy. This will not go over well, internationally. Everyone will see right through this badly engineered PR stunt. When faced with jail, and who knows what else, many of us would prefer to "apologize". 

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Wow they are really making him grovel Pity but guess he didn't have any choice either apologize or go to Jail probably not worth it.
I think the Hotel doesn't understand English because he didn't say the Hotel had Corona Virus he said avoid it like Corona Virus.
He also compared how the Hotel treat staff to Slave Labor he didn't claim they were slaves but Trip Advisor already removed those comments.
He also claimed the Manager from Czech is Czech is that racist? I don't get it.
Anyway probably did the right thing they would have thrown the book at him oh I don't mean literally lol please don't sue me for claiming they throw books.
Just be careful about leaving any online reviews in Thailand if you live here.
 

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33 minutes ago, webfact said:

CNN, ABC, the Daily Mail, BBC, Insider, The Morning Call, The Sun, CBS, the Independent, NBC, Fox, Reuters, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Bangkok Post and AFP

If these medias would report something about this, it'll only impact the hotel negatively. 

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35 minutes ago, webfact said:

The defamation case against an American man who posted damaging reviews about a hotel in Koh Chang has been settled after he admitted lying and apologized. 

What could one take away from this? Write a bad review, get arrested and put in jail, and then apologise and say you were lying. It's still the same message; write a bad review and we'll send you to prison. 

 

 

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The hotel did the right thing by suing him for defamation. 

 

Immigration should have banned him from entering Thailand for being a mischief. This is to teach similar behaviour in the future.

 

People here always complain about Chinese tourists behaviour but never bad American behaviour like being loud, demanding and deliberating causing mischief.

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7 minutes ago, rkidlad said:

What could one take away from this? Write a bad review, get arrested and put in jail, and then apologise and say you were lying. It's still the same message; write a bad review and we'll send you to prison. 

The problem is not about writing a single bad review, the problem is reporting fake comments on multiple websites and same website over many weeks just to defame that hotel.

 

If the comment is genuine, it's acceptable but not when it's full of malice and half-truth.

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Quote

1. To issue a heartfelt and full apology to the hotel and staff and issue copies with the reasons for his actions to the following media: CNN, ABC, the Daily Mail, BBC, Insider, The Morning Call, The Sun, CBS, the Independent, NBC, Fox, Reuters, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Bangkok Post and AFP stating:

They just don't get it do they?
Had they not charged him with Defamation and put him in Jail for 2 days in the first place those media outlets wouldn't have reported about it.

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Publicly grovelling and reading from a script in a desperate attempt to avoid time in a Thai jail.

 

I'm sure nobody will be able to see through this 😆.

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5 minutes ago, warcy said:

The problem is not about writing a single bad review, the problem is reporting fake comments on multiple websites and same website over many weeks just to defame that hotel.

 

If the comment is genuine, it's acceptable but not when it's full of malice and half-truth.

Total 4 reviews you try make it sound like he wrote Hundreds and what was the fake comment exactly I don't get it?

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Clever action from the yank, he avoid jail and the story about Thai stupidity and the Hotel name goes around the world again ... Repeative commercials are the most effective ...

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18 minutes ago, Jack Hna said:

I heard he has scarpered and told them to suck and he said the same to his Mrs and he's gonna back to United States of covid. Honest

 

Not so much the big (red)bull stand as the little bull(sh*tter) flounce.

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12 minutes ago, warcy said:

The problem is not about writing a single bad review, the problem is reporting fake comments on multiple websites and same website over many weeks just to defame that hotel.

 

If the comment is genuine, it's acceptable but not when it's full of malice and half-truth.

It was three comments that were published, and criticism of anything is subjective. 

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18 minutes ago, rkidlad said:

What could one take away from this? Write a bad review, get arrested and put in jail, and then apologise and say you were lying. It's still the same message; write a bad review and we'll send you to prison.

 

But he didn't simply compose a "bad review" did he? He posted lies, deceit and personal opinions jaded by Lord knows what.

 

Even after Tripadvisor deleted his original post, he did it again.

 

Several times.

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15 minutes ago, NanLaew said:

But he didn't simply compose a "bad review" did he? He posted lies, deceit and personal opinions jaded by Lord knows what.

 

Even after Tripadvisor deleted his original post, he did it again.

 

Several times.

So he’s trolling. 
 

Whether you agree with the outcome or not, the headlines read that a man was jailed for writing bad reviews of a hotel in Thailand. And that’s all many tourists or potential tourists will take from it. 

 

That in itself is very damaging. The actions of the hotel and police were way over the top and this could have been nipped in the bud far more easily. 

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15 minutes ago, NanLaew said:

But he didn't simply compose a "bad review" did he? He posted lies, deceit and personal opinions jaded by Lord knows what.

 

Even after Tripadvisor deleted his original post, he did it again.

 

Several times.

Simple question WHAT WAS LIE?

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The guy is obviously a 24 carat wally but doesn't deserve jail time for writing a negative review, I'd wager there are drunk drivers here that have killed someone havn't had a much castergation has he's had. Let the punishment fit he crime for goodness sake.

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

"I, Mr Barnes, am sorry for lying in my review that defamed the hotel".

exactly as I said before .....  The guy was probably half cut when he got there and refused to pay the corkage, then defamed the hotel by lying to the media. 

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