Scots sex club kings lose fight to have brave journalist jailed
March 26 2010
Above is how the Scottish Sunday Mail reported my court victory over James Lumsden in what has become the MacMafia libel case.
And linked here is a story in the Glasgow Herald describing my fight against dubious businessmen in Pattaya.
THE STRANGE TALE OF TRANSVESTITES, CROOKED COPS, A MUTILATED BODY AND TWO SCOTS KNOWN AS THE GAY McMAFIA
And the paragraph below comes from the court judgment.
"The reporter publish news to the public and was merely suspicious of the plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May's behaviour and whether they were involved in such incidents with Mr. Kevin Quill and Mr. Iain Macdonald. The actions of the 2nd Defendant were not of making up a story. It was the description of facts about foreigners doing business in Thailand and his performance was fair".
I feel neatly it sums up why the cases against me were thrown out. But it took me nine years to take justice in Thailand.
Below is the text in English, sometimes awkward (I have corrected some spellings and some grammar only) of the Appeal Judgment in my favour in the first and major case of libel brought by Jim Lumsden, manager of 'Boyz Boyz Boyz' Pattaya which was heard in 2003.
I make no observations other than that the amusing and rather risky headlines including 'dangerous duo' were not written by me but added by the Bangkok Post, who were found not guilty anyway and did not need even to appeal.
When writing the story I was aware, as a journalist, of what I could say and could not say. (In press in the UK I could be more specific because truth is the ultimate defence and there would be no pressure on witnesses)
At no time did I claim of course in Thailand that Lumsden was a murderer or specifically a thief. My main witnesses would literally have been either in jail, already dead, or too scared - but I did point out a series of actions leading up to and following first the death of Iain MacDonald and secondly the arrest of Kevin Quill. Both men had invested heavily in Gordon May and Lumsden's businesses.
I was also given a fairly full account of what went on in the Ambiance Hotel the night Iain Macdonald died. The witnesses however refused to sign statements and would clearly not go to court.
In the Bangkok Post I pointed out how Kevin was removed from his company, had his computer wiped of all his business records, had his car taken, and how his apartmment was split into two and rented out to tourists by his business partners when he want to jail. In fact his sister was even charged (a small fortune) for using Kevin's car to visit him in jail!
Kevin Quill was clearly not getting the same assistance which Jim Lumsden was from local police.
I also pointed out that Iain Macdonald signed an illegal will bequeathing his investment in Boyz Boyz Boyz to May's boyfriend in the bar and that of course Iain's next of kin got nothing, (as did May's boyfriend)...and then of course there was the famous letter signed by 'G,' who complained to Quill in prison that all the arresting officers had been partying in 'Boyz Boyz Boyz' - and that ''the bastards have been drinking our John Walker Black'.
Perhaps this might be the appropriate time to thank all the well wishers, both private ones, and those who left comments under the story 'Andrew Drummond cleared in Thai Gay MacMafia libel trial.' This link is also useful for a recap of the story as is the section 'Fighting For Justice'. The links will be useful if you have just come across this site. Its been a long haul. Of course I need to thank the Appeal Court judges too, who saw through the smoke and mirrors.
Early on those in the Lumsden camp appeared to be putting it around that I was anti-gay and that this whole investigation was anti-gay. Of course it was not. Had these events happpened in the non-gay commercial sex trade my attitude would have been exactly the same, and of course here I went in batting for two gay victims.
In fact I had to fight anti-gay prejudice, and of course the 'low rent' impression people have of some the characters in this saga, to actually get this publish initially in the UK before Thailand.
Finally Kevin Quill flies back to Britain today as part of the Prison Transfer agreement between Thailand and the U.K. With him go my best wishes for the future. I deeply regret that due to prevailing circumstances in Pattaya he fell victim to a truly vile and evil web which was spun in 'Boyztown' but extended well beyond. I regret we could not win his battle too.
People know and that includes people in the British Foreign service that he was 'a patsy'. Some people just did nothing about it. Prior to his arrest I am sure that local police had been briefed that he had been a crook in the UK.
Gordon May even bragged in an interview to the Pattaya Mail, which was publish without checking, saying that Quill had boasted about being wanted for attempted murder and that the 1/3 of a million pounds he brought with him to Thailand was the subject of fraud. I can account for every penny Quill brought into Thailand from the sale of businesses in the UK. Whether his finances were legitimate or not was one of the first things I checked before taking up his case.
Eileen Macdonald will never of course get over the loss of her son and has already sent her congratulations and support.
Regretably I cannot take comments either favourable or otherwise in relation to the judgment as Thai law is very strict when it comes to commenting on judgments and the penalties are severe.
|How the Bangkok Post headlines the story|
For the Court used
Black Case No. 413/2547
Red Case No. 1752/2552
IN THE NAME OF HIS MAJESTY KING
The Court of Appeal Region 2
Date: June 12, 2009
Mr. James Lumsden Plaintiff
Mr. Songpol Kaewpratumtip 1st
Mr. Andrew Drummond 2nd Defendants
Offence: Offense of Defamation under Printing and Publishing Act
The 2nd Defendant filed an appeal against the judgment of Pattaya Provincial Court
Dated September 30, 2003 The Court of Appeal Region 2
Received February 20, 2004
The plaintiff instituted a prosecution claiming that he has British nationality working as a manager of bar and guesthouse in Pattaya, 1st Defendant is an editor of Bangkok Post newspaper which is daily newspaper in English language selling all around the Kingdom of Thailand. The Bangkok Post dated May 20, 2001 publish the statements in page 6 of the 'Perspective' column which were written by 2nd Defendant and shall be liable by 1st Defendant. The statements defaming the prosecutor and other person caused the prosecutor to loss his reputation, to be insulted and detested. Both defendants publish the photo of the Plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May and the word of 'Dangerous Duo' in the middle of the page describing that the plaintiff was a secretary for Teague Homes Co., Ltd. in Edinburgh, and after leaving the company in 1987, the company report stated that there was misappropriation committed by Mr. Gordon May, the Plaintiff's 'Dangerous Duo' and additionally stated that the conduct of the case against the Plaintiff was withheld by a judge because of homosexual relationship. It also referred to Mr. Iain Macdonald who was dead in fire in Ambiance Hotel where the Plaintiff was a manager, and Mr. Erik Bohman who was murdered by the Plaintiff's employee provided that it induced readers to believe that the Plaintiff was involved in murder of both persons. The truth was Mr. Iain Macdonald died from an accident and Mr. Erik Bohman was killed for robbery. The plaintiff was not involved in the death of both persons. In addition, both defendants mutually imputed and defamed the plaintiff in the same page of the newspaper that 'Beware of the cheats: Take one wealthy businessman and a couple of co-operative officials, add some drugs to his luggage, then move into his office.' which referred to Mr. Kevin Quill stating that 'He did not know that his very wealth was the major factor in a plot to set him up with drugs. He has not known that his wealth would be a subject matter to make him get involve with drug. But that is what happened to Kevin Quill after he was lured into businesses by two other local Britons Gordon May and Mr. James Lumsden...' The written statements tried to make readers to believe by posting the photo of the plaintiff, Mr. Gordon May, and Mr. Kevin Quill in order to lead that the Plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May persuaded Mr. Kevin Quill to join their business, and then cooperated with some police officers to place a drug offence against Mr. Kevin Quill in order that Mr. Kevin Quill receive either a death sentence or imprisonment for a long time', which unfairly imputed and defamed that the plaintiff could commit murder . The plaintiff did not relate to the arrest and proceeding of Mr. Kevin Quill. The 2nd Defendant further described that 'No sooner had Quill been sent to prison than Lumsden and May began stripping his assets. First went his luxury penthouse apartment, partitioned in two and rented out to tourists. Then went his Mercedes. Lumsden removed him as a director and appointed Mr. May instead' which were false and defamatory.
It further described that 'They promised to get him out (of jail) and the money continued to flow out of his account. Some three million baht was delivered to Mr. May and Mr. Lumsden through Mr. Barry Kenyon, a local consul of the British Embassy, in order to pay legal fees. Only 1.7 million baht was returned.
'And the money from his club dried up too. At the height of the tourist season profits were down 50 per cent on the low season.
The plaintiff was accused of misappropriating or stealing the property of Mr. Kevin Quill, and that he took advantage in business which were untrue. Moreover, the statement at the end that 'the tip informing on Mr. Kevin Quill came from within the Ambiance Hotel, owned by Mr. May and Mr. Lumsden' and also stated that 'Police Sergeant Winai (Yuyadmaak) had received salary from Mr. Lumsden for seven years. He came to drink at Boyz Boyz Boyz five nights per week.'
It showed that the plaintiff cooperated with the inquiry official, who received money from the prosecutor, to have Mr. Kevin Quill accused of a drug offense in order to take the property of Mr. Kevin Quill. Therefore, the prosecutor was damaged from loss of his reputation, being insulted and detested, and his business was also damaged. The case occurred in Klongtoey Sub-district, Klongtoey District, Bangkok and in NongPrue Sub-district, Banglamung District, Chonburi Province, and other provinces around Thailand. The Plaintiff would like the Court to inflict the punishment according to Section 83, 326, 328, and 332 of the Criminal Code, and Section 4 and 48 of the Printing and Publishing Act B.E. 2484 provided that both Accused shall publish judgment and apology for the Plaintiff in Bangkok Post newspaper and Pattaya Mail newspaper with one of two page of each newspaper for 3 times within 1 month from the date of judgment at their expenses.
The Court of First Instance made preliminary examination. There was a prima facie case, and therefore, the Court accepted the charges.
Both defendants refused guilty.
The Court of First Instance considered and rendered a judgment that the 2nd Defendant was guilty under Section 328 of the Criminal Code provided that the 2nd Defendant shall be punished with imprisonment 2 months, and fined 20,000 Baht. However, the imprisonment was suspending the execution for 2 years under Section 56, and if the 2nd Defendant fails to pay the fine, Section 29 and 30 of the Criminal Code shall apply. In addition, the 2nd Defendant shall publish the judgment and apology for the Plaintiff in Bangkok Post newspaper and Pattaya Mail newspaper with one of two page of each newspaper for 3 times within 1 month from the date of judgment at its own expenses. The Court dismissed the case of the 1st Defendant.
The 2nd Defendant appealed.
The Court of Appeal Region 2 examined the file and considered. For the 1st Defendant, the Court of First Instance dismissed the case, and the Plaintiff did not appeal, therefore, the case is final. For the 2nd Defendant, the facts not argued by the parties shall be finally admitted in this level that the Plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May join in business of Ambiance Hotel and Boyz Boyz Boyz, and then, Mr. Iain Macdonald joined their business by holding 50% of shares. In 1990, Mr. Iain Macdonald was died from a fire in the room of Ambiance Hotel, where the shares were held by him and the Plaintiff.
After that, the plaintiff, Mr. Gordon May, and Mr. Kevin Quill mutually established Patika Co., Ltd. operating the business of rental of room, health centre, and Throb Bar and Splash provided that Mr. Kevin Quill held 50% of shares. In October, 1990, Mr. Kevin Quill was arrested on the count of possession of amphetamine in order to sell without permission. During his imprisonment in Chonburi Province, business information and personal property of Mr. Kevin Quill were deleted from Mr. Kevin Quill's computer, and the Plaintiff removed Mr. Kevin Quill from being a director of Patika Co., Ltd. and appointed Mr. Gordon May to be a director of the company instead. In addition, there was a transfer of shares held by other person on behalf of Mr. Kevin Quill to third person. Moreover, the penthouse was messed up by the plaintiff, and personal property of Mr. Kevin Quill was moved to other place and such penthouse was renovated dividing it into 2 rooms for rental. Mr. Kevin Quill asked British Embassy for help due to the defamation and submitted a letter asking for fairness to Pol. Lt. General Noppadol Somboonsap. Then, Ms. Supreeya, Mr. Deryck Fisher, an officer of the British Embassy, and Mr. Kevin Quill met Pol. Lt. General Noppadol and delivered VDO, as an evidence, of the incident when police officers came to search and arrest Mr. Kevin Quill.
Pol. Lt. General Noppadol watched the VDO and saw that the police officers arrested Mr. Kevin Quill with hundreds of cigarette cases, but opened only one case which contained drug. Pol. Lt. General Noppadol saw that it was suspicious and then assigned Police General Pongsan to be in charge of the file of case. Pol. Lt. General Noppadol also said to the British Embassy's officers that he was sorry if there was any fault of police operation. The 2nd Defendant was a writer of article in page 6 of Bangkok Post newspaper dated May 20, 2001, in the 'Perspective' column, with the topic of 'Dangerous Duo' and there was a statement below the topic warning about cheating together with photo of the Plaintiff according to the newspaper and translation, document Jor.2. Here, there are questions to be considered as per the appeal of the 2nd Defendant that whether or not the 2nd Defendant committed the offense according to the charge. The question of whether the 2nd Defendant committed defamation due to his article shall be considered by using sense of reasonable person that the statements were up to the stage that the victim would be lost of reputation and be insulted and detested by other persons. It shall not be considered by using only the sense of the victim. The court explained that the offense of defamation must insist the fact in order to make readers, listeners, and viewers believe and feel detesting. For the heading 'Dangerous Duo' it was to warn readers to be careful in doing business. It did not mean that the plaintiff was a criminal or murderer and betrayed his partner as the plaintiff mentioned according to the first paragraph of clause 2.1 of the charge which stated that prior to coming to Thailand, Mr. Gordon May was a director, and Mr. James Lumsden was a secretary of Teague Homes Co., Ltd., a local company in Edinburgh. It was written according to the fact that Mr. Gordon May and Prosecutor used to work in such company. There was no statement which caused damage to the plaintiff. Also, the plaintiff accepted that he was a secretary of Teague Homes Co., Ltd. The second paragraph to fifth paragraph which stated that in 1987, after Mr. Lumsden and Mr. May left the company, the company's annual report stated that 'During that time, it was found that Mr. G. May misappropriate money of the company Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£243,438 pond sterling by together with a legal consultant of the company which violated the Company Act 1985. After that, Mr. May was prosecuted with the case by an inquiry official for an offence of cheating and fraud, but he was acquitted at his trial. However, the income of Teague Homes Co., Ltd. was spent to open of the biggest gay sex bar in Asia. The Court saw that it presented the fact of the case. Such article was just information which is public information. In addition, the article stated only Mr. May, there was nothing referring to the plaintiff or suggesting the plaintiff was an accomplice. The sixth paragraph which stated that then Mr. May and Mr. Lumsden were mentioned in the report of Sir William Sutherland, a chief police officer of Lothian Region, for investigation of the claim that a Scottish judges and a Scottish attorneya might be blackmailed into dropping critical criminal cases homosexual links. The article presented the report of the Chief Constable referring the investigation of Mr. May and the Plaintiff in such claim. The 2nd Defendant did not insist that the Plaintiff was a principal to withhold the case due to the homosexual relationship with Scottish judge. The seventh paragraph stated about the 2nd Defendant that he presented the other news when Mr. Iain Macdonald, 28 years old Scottish male, who was a big investor of Boyz Boyz Boyz, was dead in fire in his room of Ambiance Hotel in April of 1990. The article was about death of Mr. Iain, and did not insist or refer to the plaintiff, but just described that there was a death in that place committed by unknown person. The eighth paragraph to tenth paragraph stating that then, in April of 1996, Mr. Taweepun Wuttisri, 21 years old a go-go dancer in Boyz Boyz Boyz, was prosecuted for the murder of Mr. Erik Bomann, a Swedish who lived in London, when he came to Pattaya to invest in real estate and a gay night club. The Pattaya police mentioned that Mr. Taweepun was hired by foreign business people, but he stated that they are Denmark and German. Such statement mentioned that the instigators were Danish and German, but the Plaintiff was a British, so that the instigator did not mean the Plaintiff. Therefore, as reading through the article, the Court saw that the news written by the 2nd Defendant was to report the fact of Mr. Gordon May and the Plaintiff outside Thailand, and death of Mr. Iain Macdonald and Mr. Erik Bomann in Thailand. There was no statement which accused the Plaintiff or convinced readers to believe that the Plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May deceived a foreign person to join business with them, and then killed such person in order to take benefits from him as mentioned by the Plaintiff. The Court found that it was not false statement as defamation. According to clause 2.2 of the charge, the statement in the same page of the newspaper stated that ''Beware of the cheats: Take one wealthy businessman and a couple of co-operative officials, add some drugs to his luggage, then move into his office.' it referred to Mr. Kevin Quill that ''He did not know that his very wealth was the major factor in a plot to set him up with drugs. He has not known that his wealth would be a subject matter to make him get involve with drug. But that is what happened to Kevin Quill after he was lured into businesses by two other local Britons Gordon May and Mr. James Lumsden...' The article of the 2nd Defendant was about how Mr. Kevin Quill had brought money to invest in Thailand and done into business with Mr. Gordon May and the plaintiff. The Thai government has death penalty for drug dealing, and this was to warn any tourist about being prosecuted for a drugs offense due to immoral businessmen. The article did not mention that the plaintiff was an immoral businessman. The plaintiff took some sentences and concluded that the 2nd Defendant wrote the article that plaintiff was an immoral businessman, Which was not related to the fact, the paragraph 8-15 was the report of news that Mr. Kevin Quill was arrested that he had 100 pills of amphetamines in cigarette cases and he was imprisoned for 6 months; afterwards, he was released, the Police General Pongsan called him to meet the lawyer. The 2nd defendant wondered about his arrest that only one cigarette case was opened and the police knew that where the exact place of such cigarette cases. The article wrote by the 2nd defendant did not accuse the plaintiff of being involved in such an incident or that he asked the police to do that for him as appeared in the accusation No. 2.3. Additionally, after Mr. Quill was arrested, Mr. May and Mr. Lumsden moved his properties, his Mercedes car, and finally, his company and Mr. Lumsden withdrew him from the director of the company and proposed May to be the director. The article was just news written by the reporter; moreover, in the interview of Mr. Quill and his testimony in the court, the plaintiff accepted that there was the withdrawal of Mr. Quill's shares and properties during his arrest and Mr. Quill accused the plaintiff as appeared in the document Lor.10. Such article did not have any words accusing that the plaintiff of dishonest intent, but it was the matter of dispute of ownership, and it did not confirm that the plaintiff intended to defraud of Mr. Quill's properties or shares; therefore, it was not the defamation as appeared in the Plaintiff's accusation number 2.4.
As the 2nd Defendant referred to the 3 million baht which was transferred to May's account such sentence explained that the 2nd Defendant evaluated the profit and loss of the business, also there were many ways to do business, the incident was just the observation; the 2nd defendant did not defame the plaintiff that the plaintiff was stealing or dishonestly doing business.
In the plaintiff's accusation number 2.5 'the detail about Mr. May and Mr. Lumsden's hotel and Khun Winai being on his payroll', the sentence could be understood that Mr. Winai got involved in the plaintiff's business because his name appeared in the salary list for 7 years; nevertheless, it could not be referred that the Plaintiff paid Mr. Winai to make Mr. Kevin Quill be arrested and the Plaintiff took Mr. Kevin Quill's properties.
When the whole Article was read, it could be seen that it was the normal fact reporting the incident occurred to Mr. Kevin Quill and his partners, there were no any sentence defamed the plaintiff. Even though there was the word 'dangerous duo' , it was merely a story warning the foreigners who intended to open businesses in Thailand, it did not state that the plaintiff and Mr. Gordon may was the dishonest partners; therefore, it could not be said that the 2nd Defendant had the intention to make the plaintiff to be hated; furthermore, there were no sentences specified the persons by publishing the plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May's photos, and there did not stated the name of the Plaintiff; thus the plaintiff could not say that he was damaged. The article relating to Mr. Iain Macdonald and Mr. Eric Bohman was an article described the fact that both persons died. It did not stated that the Plaintiff got involved in such incidents. Some parts of the article relating to the arrest of Mr. Kevin Quill were the testimony of Mr. Quill in the criminal case; red case number 2828/2545; thus, it was fair in reporting news, there were no sentences confirmed that the plaintiff was relating to the case. In addition, Mr. John Hector (British Embassy drugs liaison officer, told the 2nd Defendant that the incident might be a set-up; thus, the 2nd defendant investigated Mr. Kevin Quill's case and his business. The 2nd Defendant as the reporter publish news to the public and was merely suspicious of the plaintiff and Mr. Gordon May's behaviour and whether they were involved in such incidents with Mr. Kevin Quill and Mr. Iain Macdonald. The actions of the 2nd Defendant were not of making up a story. It was the description of facts about foreigners doing business in Thailand and his performance was fair and did not confirm that the plaintiff was the criminal; therefore, the performance of the 2nd Defendant was not the defamation. The Court of Appeal did not agree with the judgment of the Primary Court.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the case.
Certified True Copy
(Official Emblem) (Mrs. Bang-on Hungmakaporn)
15 March B.E. 2553
Miss Serane Sirimangkara
Mr. Sittisak Wanachanakij
Mr. Ariya Nawinthum