From ANDREW DRUMMOND,
Bangkok August 22 2011
His children are in government care in Britain and his land has all but already been gobbled up by his Thai wife.
Legendary turkey farmer Joe Stanyer, who used to supply Thailand's best hotels with their Christmas bird, has now been told that the last patch of land he has in Hua Hin, which he acquired on a 30-year lease, was also obtained illegally.
This story could suspend one's belief so much so that even social workers from Redbridge Council in Essex want to check it out.
And to do so, while Britain seems to be plummeting into a double-dip recession, they say they have announced that they are sending over a case officer to investigate.
They may be suspicious that 'Farmer Joe' far from being impoverished 'Farmer Joe' is making hay in Thailand, so social security sleuths are expected any day from the land of Wayne and Sharon.
Once Joe Stanyer, 58, was a prosperous business man. His turkeys sold every year under the 'Farmer Joe' brand in Bangkok and he continued to expand until the giant CP group, to cut a long story short, put him out of the running.
His wife left him and then sold most of the 22 rai turkey farm - bought in 2000 for 2 million Thai baht and held in her name - and did not pay him a penny. That left him with a small 6 rai patch of land on which he had built the family home. To safeguard this he took out a 30-year lease from his wife at a cost of 436,000 Thai baht.
But now his wife wants this land too and has taken him to court to prove successfully, it appears, that the lease he signed is void. Joe Stanley insists that another land-use clause was illegally added to the lease prior to the hearing.
Now Mr. Stanyer has had to sign a new lease, and pay up another 300,000 baht plus 12,000 baht each month for the 6 rai on which his only remaining asset in Thailand - stands.
'Actually I signed a new lease but I did not know what I was signing. The lawyer, whom I had known for 25 years, just told me to do it,' said Joe.
"I thought the original lease was water-tight, but it was tampered with".
The courts have yet to look at the fact that even under Thai divorce laws he is entitled to 50 per cent, but worse, it seems, the land on which he built his house, could be still taken from him, because his wife built up a debt on a car in his name on which, he says, she refused to keep up payments, and the company has a lien on the land.
During the middle of this saga Stan fled with his kids, Stanley, 11, Rick,5, and Nanilee, 10 back to Britain and he had no choice but to leave them in council care, while he returned to battle for his livelihood.
At the moment with new lawyers he is suing his old lawyers for malfeasance and his wife for his share of what is due from the marriage.
Social services officers, who seem not to believe this sort of thing could happen in a real world, might perhaps take a dip in the Sofitel, to soothe their nerves after hearing Joe's tale.
Meanwhile Joe's wife Nonkarn Yanachot (left with daughter from previous marriage) claims: 'Joe never took care of the children and I'.
I am not going into he details of claims and counter claims involving meat cleavers.
But Britain's Social Services want to visit her too and the former farmer's wife will be able to show a strong portfolio.
Meanwhile any chance of Joe getting anything soon are unlikely. He went to Prachuap Khiri kan Court today to say that he did not know what he had signed (the lease).
You will have to go to the appeal court said the judge.
Farmer Joe - the original report