Ampon Tangnoppakul is a working class man. He’s 61 years old, but comes across as much older. The slow walk, the bent back, the white hair and the blurry eyes, he seems 71.
Many who have met him say he is polite. His friends and family call him ”Ah Gong” or grandpa. But now he’s known as ”Uncle SMS”.
On Wednesday, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail after a court found him guilty of lese majeste and computer crimes. He was charged with sending four offensive text messages in May of last year to the personal secretary of then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
According to reports, Ampon used to drive a delivery truck, but due to health problems had to quit. In 2007, he underwent surgery for mouth cancer, which impaired his speech. He was living with his wife in Samut Prakan province. The two shared a 1,200 baht a month rented room, surviving mainly on money fromw family.
Funny that certain people who can afford get lots of times bail and……,of course, jump???