Tug-of-love Edinburgh dad jailed in Thailand is freed

An Edinburgh dad has been released from a Thai prison 43 days after trying to rescue his 'kidnapped' son.

Jodie Smith with son Joleon.
Jodie Smith with son Joleon.

Jodie Smith, 41, from South Queensferry, called relieved mum Lidia Smith, 67, to say: “I’m out. They’ve let me go.”

The loving dad, who has been behind bars in Thailand since he was charged in February, will now fly home with ten-year-old son Joleon.

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Jodie’s estranged wife Jintra Jummaimuang Smith, 31, who is accused of fleeing Scotland with their boy, settled the custody row and secured his release.

She plans to follow them home to South Queensferry having helped with Jodie’s release.

And Jodie has warned his mum not to give Jintra a frosty reception when she returns to assume shared custody of Joleon.

Speaking to the Scottish Sun, Lidia said: “His exact words were that Jintra wants to come back to Britain.

“He told me, ‘Don’t have a go at her as we want to look to the future and not the past’.

“The fact is that Jodie would never have been in Thailand in the first place had it not been that he was desperate to see his son again.

“Clearly there is a lot to talk about when they get home.

“In the past 48 hours, Jodie and Jintra have been talking through what happened — and they have agreed that although they are separated it is important that their son has both of them in their lives.

“Jodie’s lost 43 days of his life in prison since February 22, but at least he’s now safe.”

He was detained at Bangkok Airport trying to bring son Joleon back to Scotland. The carer, who had fears his son was being neglected, managed to locate his son in Jintra’s home.

Jodie was charged with abduction and trespassing and was held in Sakon Nakhon Prison.

Lidia told of her delight and revealed she’s counting the days until the family is reunited — including Jodie’s pregnant fiancee Vikki Farquharson.

Recalling the conversation, Lidia said: “The call came out of the blue after more than a month of silence and suddenly my son was talking to me.

“He told me he had been freed from prison and he was with Joleon.

“His first words were ‘Mum, I’m out. They’ve let me go’.

“Initially I felt disbelief, then I was overwhelmed with relief and then I cried.

“I won’t be able to rest until he and Joleon are safely back home, which will be a few days.

“I want to put my arms around my grandson and see his face.

“I tried to speak to him on the phone but he was totally overwhelmed and so emotional he couldn’t even say ‘hello’.

“I said, ‘Hello Joleon, where have you been? I’ve missed you so much’. I just want him back where he belongs.

“I’ve been to hell and back and my priority lies with Joleon. Thank God it’s almost over.”

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