No bail for 'past life' fraudster Pemmika

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a bail request from Pemmika Veerachatraksit, who has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison for deceiving renowned Applied Physics tutor Prakitpao Tomtitchong into giving her and her friends gifts and cash worth more than 9 million baht.

Pemmika’s lawyer filed the request with the court and put forward land title deeds worth more than 3.2 million baht as surety. 

Pemmika, 31, asked that the court to review the Appeal Court’s ruling on her case and grant permission for her temporary release pending a second appeal.

But the court rejected the request, arguing that there was no need to review the case again, since two lower courts had already agreed on her conviction. The court also said that Pemmika posed a flight risk if she were granted bail.   

In 2010, the Criminal Court ruled that Pemmika, who graduated in psychology from Chulalongkorn University, had deceived tutorial school owner Mr Prakitpao into believing they had been a couple in a past life and that he had abused her. He gave her money and gifts because she led him to believe it was just compensation for the past abuse, the court said

Pemmika was sentenced to four years and six months in jail for fraud and attempted fraud.

She claimed that the money and gifts were given out of love and appealed her conviction. But the Appeals Court last week upheld the lower court's decision.

The strange case generated interest when it first went to court, because Applied Physics was a popular tutorial school at the time.

The family of Mr Prakitpao claimed that he began acting strangely and avoiding them after attending meditation sessions with people including Pemmika.

His family had him admitted to a mental institution, but Pemmika filed a complaint with police claiming Dr Prakitpao was being illegally detained. His mother then filed criminal charges against her and her three friends.

The tutor was later diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder and treated in hospital for four months. Police and Srithanya Mental Hospital said the illness was likely to have been caused by an unusually high level of the stimulant ephedrine found in his body.

Three of Pemmika's friends received sentences of three years in prison, suspended for two years, and fines of 27,000 baht each for their involvement in the fraud. The court also ordered the four to return 8 million baht in cash to Mr Prakitpao and his mother.

Related search: Pemmika Veerachatraksit, Prakitpao Tomtitchong, Applied Physics

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