Monday, September 21, 2009

Thai Prison Description

Just another friendly reminder that expats should not do drugs in Thailand, as shown by this recent article in The Sunday Mirror. You can also find more information at The Foreign Prisoner Support Group.

A DAD jailed for 33 years for drug possession in Thailand has spoken from his prison cell about his “living hell” behind bars.

Steven Willcox, 45, revealed his heartbreak at never seeing his six year-old son, Oak, as a free man and of his hopes for a landmark legal ruling to reduce his harsh sentence.

The businessman, from Blaby, Leicestershire, was caged in a grimy Thai jail in 2003 after being caught with a small amount of ecstasy, amphetamines and cannabis while working on the island of Koh Samui.

“The police were given my name by an acquaintance in Bangkok. They raided my house and found drugs that were for my personal use,” he said during an interview at Rye Hill prison, Warwickshire.

“I was thrown into a remand prison where I slept in a room with more than 60 other inmates on a hard stone floor. We were shoulder to shoulder; there wasn’t room to move. The guards gave batons to some of the other prisoners to carry out beatings and keep order.

“For the first eight months I was kept in heavy iron shackles and was terrified of getting sick, because in those conditions, if you get ill you will die.

“The complete isolation of the place was impossible to deal with. My lawyer barely spoke any English and when it came to court I had to plead guilty to distribution charges, which under Thai law I was guilty of.

‘‘They gave me a life sentence, even though they knew I wasn’t a drug dealer.”

Steven returned to Rye Hill in 2007 under a treaty which allows British prisoners to be repatriated after serving four years in Thailand.

But he will not be considered for release until 2020, even though he would have received just 12 months for similar drugs offences in Britain.

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