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Mother's anguish over son's arrest


A MOTHER is devastated after her son was arrested in Cambodia and charged with producing pornographic pictures during a “Lets Get Wet” event for backpackers.

Billy Stevens was one of five Britons arrested when officers raided a rented villa in the tourist hotspot of Siem Reap, where young travellers were said to have been playing a Twister-style game.

The 21-year-old’s mother Marci Harbour, 47, from Wadhurst, was shocked to receive the news that her son could face a year in jail if convicted.

Speaking to national newspapers after talking to her son on the phone while he was in custody, Ms Harbour said: “We’re all devastated by this. It’s dreadful.

“I’ve managed to speak to him but he’s had his phone taken off him now. They’re all in custody.

“We’ve been advised not to say anything at the moment because obviously they’re out there and we don’t want to make it worse for them.

“There’s a lot of us parents on it and I’m in touch with them but it’s difficult.”

A Cambodian expatriate website published images released by police of the clothed tourists appearing to pretend to perform different sexual positions on the floor of the villa.

A member of the group told the Press Association on Saturday night that none of those who were arrested were actually present in the photographs.

A total of eight men and two women were arrested, including the four other Brits, Vincent Harley Robert Hook, 35, Daniel Richard Leeming Jones, 30, Thomas Alexander Jeffries, 22, and Paul Francis Harris, 32.

The group were all charged with producing pornographic pictures on Sunday.

Ms Harbour said her son was just having a good time and drinking with the group of friends he had met on his travels.

The five Brits have issued a joint statement from the prison, saying: “We’re innocent. We don’t know why we’ve been arrested – we’re getting different stories from different people.

“It was really confusing. Everyone was confused.

“They raided, rounded us up – there was about 80 to 100 people at this party, some of them were tourists.

“There were about 30 of them. Our parents are doing what they can.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a statement since their arrest saying it is assisting the five men and supporting their families.

Source: The Argus