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Australian woman jailed in Thailand for making up rape claim

An Australian woman has been jailed in Thailand for making up a story about being raped by a taxi driver.
Patong Beach thailand 6 17 2012Enlarge
Foreign tourists walk by a tsunami evacuation route sign at Patong beach on Thailand's southern island of Phuket on December 25, 2009. (CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)

An Australian woman has been jailed in Thailand for making up a story about being raped by a taxi driver.

Stevie Rochelle Bamford, 21, had told police she took a tuktuk taxi home after arguing with her boyfriend while on a late night out in Soi Bangla, Phuket's red light district, on June 9, Australia's Fairfax media reported.

Bamford told the Phuket Provincial Court she invented the rape story because she feared her boyfriend would be angry that she was out late, according to Phuketwan.com.

However, after investigating her claims for nearly a week, police discovered CCTV footage showing her going back to her hotel on the back of a motorbike taxi, not in a Patong tuktuk.

After being shown the footage, police say Bamford admitted making up the rape story.

The Deputy Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Sermphan Sirikong, told Phuketwan: ''It's sad that tourists have to lie about this kind of thing. It could damage Phuket's tourism industry.''

Australian consular officials accompanied Bamford to court, where she was sentenced to 15 days in a Thai jail.

She will be held at Bang Jo detention center rather than in Phuket Prison.

More from GlobalPost: Sex tourists not welcome in Bangkok, Thailand

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/patong-thailand-phuket-rape-stevie-rochelle-bamford-touri