BANGKOK – Thitinant Kaewchantranont a 65 year old woman has been sentenced to one year in prison for publicly kicking a portrait of His Majesty the King, despite being recognized as mentally unstable by a Thai Court.
A lower court found her guilty of insulting the monarchy, a crime known as lese majeste, but suspended her two-year sentence because she was found to be mentally ill. A psychiatrist who treated Ms.Thitinand testified in court that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The court also ordered Ms.Thitinand to receive psychiatric treatment and report to authorities every six months for two years.
However, the prosecutor appealed the ruling, and today a Court of Appeal sentenced Ms. Thitinand to one year in prison.
The Appeals Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of the prosecution, ruling that the offence was a serious threat to the nation. The court cancelled the suspension of her jail term, so her conduct would not set an example for others to follow.
According to Khaosod newspaper, the court described Ms.Thitinand’s action as “a severe crime” that warrants a punishment “to prevent others from repeating such action.”
Although the court acknowledged that Ms.Thitinand was mentally ill and upheld the mandatory psychiatric treatment, it ruled that the defendant “could have exercised some restraint” when she committed the wrongdoing.