A man marooned in Thailand for almost four years after false allegations made against him by his former landlord has vowed to get even.
After being cleared of causing damage at his rented home, Lee Chestnutt, whose parents Pat and Bruce live in The Mallards, Garstang, said his lawyers are looking at court documents with the aim of taking the landlord to court.
The 41-year-old Pilling man, who moved to Thailand to set up his own web design business, stood trial two years ago, and was acquitted of the charges.
But the landlord lodged an appeal, which meant Mr Chestnutt could not leave Thailand, nor could he work, and he and his family faced an agonising wait for a second hearing, which took place in December.
Just before Christmas, his family were told the appeal court had found in Mr Chestnutt’s favour and were preparing for his return home in January.
But then the landlord threatened a second appeal, this time to the supreme court, which blocked Mr Chestnutt’s visa bid and could have kept him locked in the country for a further 10 years.
Speaking from Thailand this week, Mr Chestnutt said he would be prepared to return to the country in order to take action against the former landlord. “We have our legal person looking through all the court documents to see what action we can take against him,” he said.
“We hope to be home by mid-March if everything goes according to plan.
“First we have to pay the overstay fine and then we can start planning to come home.”
Mr Chestnutt’s mother said it had been a rollercoaster of emotion for the family for almost four years.
“It’s been terrible. It has affected our health and we have been so worried about Lee.
“It got to one stage where he had no money and we had to email rather than ringing because he couldn’t afford to call us. We heard of people in similar circumstances begging on the streets because they had no family to support them.
“This has been horrendous. In the beginning, he was put on bail we had to fund £4,000 in 24 hours, otherwise they said they would send him to Bangkok jail, which we know is awful.
“It was terrible seeing him handcuffed, it was like going back 100 years.
“But hopefully it is all over now.”