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Former public school teacher, 62, is on the brink of death on day 40 of hunger strike

A former public school teacher is on the brink of death on day 40 of hunger strike over an unresolved complaint against Marriott Hotels.  

John Shepherd, 62, who is on day 40 of the hunger strike, has been battling Mariott Hotels since 2008 after a car park was built next to his flat in Thailand.    

The 62-year-old, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, was so outraged by the sewage and the unplanned parking area, he began to write to local newspapers in 2012 to complain.  

After the articles were published, Thai police arrested the former teacher on charges of defamation. He was later released.  

John Shepherd, 62, who is on day 40 of the hunger strike, has been fighting Mariott Hotels since 2008 after a car park was built next to his flat in Bangkok

The 62-year-old, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, was so outraged by the sewage and the unplanned parking area, he began to write to local newspapers in 2012 to complain

The 62-year-old, who previously worked for Harrow International School in Bangkok, was so outraged by the sewage and the unplanned parking area, he began to write to local newspapers in 2012 to complain

After the arrest, while abroad, a friend told him that there was a warrant out for his arrest in the country. 

Shepherd lost his flat in Bangkok because he decided not to return, fearing the police would action the warrant, he claims.   

The former teacher believes the incidence are part of a targetted campaign of harassment against him. 

Marriot hotels refute Shepherd’s accusations, claiming that the hotel is run by the chain, but has different owners. 

Minor International was the company who started construction of the St Regis Hotel in Bangkok in 2008. 

Control of the operation was handed over to Starwood, a hotel operator that later merged with Marriott.

Pictured: The St Regis Hotel in Bangkok

Pictured: The St Regis Hotel in Bangkok 

Arne Sorenson, Marriott's chief executive (pictured in April last year), met with Shepherd during a previous strike, where he asked for a resolution 'fair to both sides'

Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s chief executive (pictured in April last year), met with Shepherd during a previous strike, where he asked for a resolution ‘fair to both sides’

However, Shepherd firmly believes the fault lies with Mariott, and says they are targetting him in an alleged campaign of harassment. 

Three days ago, on day 37 of his hunger strike, Shepherd said: ‘If I do pass away, possibly the first ever hunger strike death in protest at corporate wrongdoing, Marriott will have knowingly and callously watched and allowed me to die without stepping in.’ 

The 62-year-old is demanding £3million in damages.   

Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s chief executive, met with Shepherd during a previous strike, where he asked for a resolution ‘fair to both sides’. 

Shepherd stopped starving himself during negotiations but Marriott decided the chain was not at fault so would not hand over the damages.   

A Marriott spokesman told the Times and denied they had started a police investigation into him. 

‘We have given Mr Shepherd numerous opportunities to substantiate his claims against us — which he hasn’t been able to do,’ they said. 

The spokesman stressed that Minor Hotels, not the Mariott, were responsible for the construction on the St Regis Hotel – and that all complaints should be addressed by them.     

Shepgerd’s case has caught the attention of the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, who has urged compassion on the part of the hotel chain

The case of Shepherd, who is on hunger strike at his home in East London, has caught the attention of the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, who has urged compassion on the part of the hotel chain.    

‘Given his current situation and fragility I’m writing to urge you to consider reaching out once again to John,’ Dame Sarah wrote. ‘It would surely be tragic if he ended his life because he saw no other solution.’ 

Shepherd said in his most recent video: ‘I have very little if any body fat remaining and this is likely to be my final, fond farewell.’             

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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