Lee Chestnutt blocked from leaving Thailand

Lee Chestnutt is originally from Pilling Lee Chestnutt, a chemical engineer, has lived in Asia for the past 20 years

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A man who was due to fly back to the UK from Thailand after a legal dispute lasting three years has been told he is still not free to leave the country.

Lee Chestnutt, of Pilling, Lancashire, was accused of criminal damage and stealing furniture by the landlord of a property he rented in Bangkok.

He was told the case had been resolved before Christmas and Mr Chestnutt was making plans to return home.

But the landlord has appealed the decision and his visa has been blocked.

Mr Chestnutt's parents, Pat and Bruce Chestnutt, said charges against him were dropped in 2011 but he could not leave the country then as his former landlord lodged an appeal.

That appeal was not upheld in December and Mr Chestnutt was free to come home.

'Extremely angry'

Mr Chestnutt, a chemical engineer who has lived in Asia for 20 years, said the landlord has now applied to the Supreme Court to appeal for a second time and his visa has been blocked.

He is not able to gain a work permit while he waits for the appeal to be heard.

Start Quote

It is just extraordinary that it has gone this far”

End Quote Eric Ollerenshaw MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Mr Chestnutt said: "I am extremely angry, that is all I can say.

"Last Thursday we were told it [the visa] had been signed, yet yesterday when the lawyer went to collect the documents the courts turned round and basically revoked them."

He said his former landlord had been given 30 days in which to appeal the last decision, but he had applied outside that time.

The landlord has now asked the Supreme Court to grant him a 60-day extension so he can lodge a late appeal.

"All we can do is wait to see if the Supreme Court allow the delay," Mr Chestnutt said.

"If they do, they will give him 60 days to form his appeal and then we have got to wait again to see whether the court even accepts the appeal.

"If they do we are looking at staying here for another five to 10 years."

Mr Chestnutt has been helped by Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood Eric Ollerenshaw, who has met two foreign ministers for Thailand on two occasions to discuss the situation.

He said: "The one glimmer of hope is that this guy has gone beyond the 30 days which are normal for the appeal.

"Fingers crossed, I am hoping that the Supreme Court will chuck this out. It is just extraordinary that it has gone this far."

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