Elderly couple face 5 years in jail for picking mushrooms in protected forest

The Supreme Court has handed five year jail terms to an elderly couple for picking mushrooms in a protected forest in Isaan.

On 2 May 2017, the Supreme Court sentenced Udom Sirisorn, 51, and Daeng Sirisorn, 48, a couple from the northeastern province of Kalasin, to five years’ imprisonment for picking wild mushrooms in Dong Ranang National Park.

They were arrested in July 2010 and quickly sentenced to 30 years imprisonment on the accusation of illegal logging and entering a protected forest.

Their sentence was halved after they pleaded guilty as advised by their lawyer, although they said that they were not involved in illegal logging.

After serving 17 months in prison, they were released on bail in late 2013 due to the mental illness Udom was suffering and internet campaigns by citizens who criticised the controversial sentence.

Udom Sirisorn (left), 51, and Daeng Sirisorn, 48, from Kalasin (Photo from Voice TV)