A British charity worker who was falsely accused of being a paedophile and jailed in Thailand for four years has been released after a mix up with names
Ian Charles Tracy, 47, from Godalming, Surrey, was let free from Nong Plalai Prison in the eastern resort of Pattaya, where he spent 14 months of his sentence treated as a child sex abuser.
It is thought he was was mistaken for another British man with a similar surname living in Thailand – who has been arrested for child sex abuse and attempted murder of a juvenile.
Mr Tracy, speaking immediately after his release on Thursday said: ‘My whole life has been ruined. I have been accused of the vilest of crimes when all I have done is to try to help people. I now have to take steps to recover my name in a case which is appalling in the nature of its corruption.”
Mr Tracy was found guilty despite the 14 year-old boy he was accused of abusing told the court he had never seen the man before in his life.
According to Thai Police, Mr Tracy was arrested as part of an Operation Naga, an act of international co-operation between Britain’s CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit) which then came under the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Royal Thai Police.
He was a volunteer for local charities The Mercy Centre and Hand In Hand and visited foreign prisoners in Thailand as part of his work.
Talking in Pattaya after his release, Mr Tracy said: “I would never consider abusing a child. In fact the charities I worked for had programme for children but I did not want to get involved because I did not have the training.
“The police knew they had the wrong man. But insisted they go ahead with the prosecution. I told them they would have to make it all up – and they did.”