Bar-mat jailing: Aussie woman 'released'

Melbourne woman Annice Smoel has been released from detention in Thailand and is free to travel home, according to reports in Phuket.

The Phuket Wan website says Ms Smoel, who faced five years in jail for allegedly stealing a bar mat, was given a six-month suspended jail term and a 1,000 baht ($30) fine for theft.

It said the ruling came on Wednesday at provincial court in Phuket City.

"The jail term will be stayed for one year and if Ms Smoel does not commit any crime in Thailand for the year, her jail term will not have to be served," the website reports.

The website says her passport had been returned and she would be allowed to return to Australia.

The Melbourne mother of four pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday.

The website said the fine was paid by the Governor of Phuket, Wichai Praisa-nob.

He intervened after speaking to Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and the Foreign Ministry.

Ms Smoel, 36, and her husband Darren embraced after the ruling.

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``I think I am going home,'' Ms Smoel told the website.

``The governor is waiting for my passport now. He has been very gracious.

``I don't know exactly how it all happened today. I think it was probably a combination of my lawyers here, my lawyers in Australia and my government and the Thai government.

``The governor has apologised to me and been very kind. He seems like a lovely man.''

Ms Smoel was arrested on May 2 for allegedly stealing the bar mat from the Aussie Bar in Phuket where she was celebrating her mother's 60th birthday.

She spent four days in jail and had been told she could have had to wait 14 weeks before her case came to court.

Ms Smoel claimed her friends had put the bar mat in her handbag as a practical joke.

AAP

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