I was not abusive to Thai police: Annice Smoel

The Australian woman arrested in Thailand for allegedly stealing a bar mat denies reports she was abusive towards police.

Annice Smoel's lawyer Bernard Murphy said his 36-year-old client was upset when police took her into custody but she was not abusive.

The mother of four, who spent four nights in a four-by-four metre cell, has been detained in Thailand for 15 days after having her passport confiscated.

She faces five years' jail for what Mr Murphy said was a joke, with two friends putting the bar mat in her handbag as a prank.

Steve Wood, the owner of the Aussie Bar in Phuket where it's alleged the bar mat theft occurred, said on Tuesday that Mrs Smoel had been abusive to police who had spoken to her at the bar.

But Mr Murphy told the Nine Network that the behaviour of the Thai police has been ridiculous.

"We're hopeful that the Thai authorities will listen and understand that their behaviour to date has been completely ridiculous," Mr Murphy said.

"To lock up this Melbourne mother for what's effectively 18 days for theft of a bar mat which other people have admitted doing seems simply crazy."

He said Mrs Smoel has told him that she was not abusive to police.


"I have spoken to her and I've spoken to her friends and they all deny it," he said.

"She was tearful, she was very upset but, I must say, who cares.

"This is a woman who was arrested wrongly, she was a charged with a crime she didn't commit.

"She had had plenty to drink and if she did get upset that would be entirely understandable."

Mrs Smoel, from Montrose in eastern Melbourne, was released on bail after four days in jail but might have to wait 14 weeks in Thailand before she appears in court.