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Pattaya Daily News

30 December 2009 :: 12:12:02 pm 3573

Convicted Brit Requesting Thai Kings Pardon

Convicted British national Steve Willcox is seeking a royal pardon from the Thai King in relation to a variety of drug offences that have seen him sentenced to 29 years in prison.
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United Kingdom, the 29th of December 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]: Having been deported back to the United Kingdom in 2007 as part of a treaty agreement with Thailand, Mr. Willcox is now looking to get his 29 year sentence for drug possession reduced to something similar to what it would have been in the UK.

He has begun writing letters to local MP’s asking for their support in a desperate bid for freedom. An application to the High Court asking for resentencing has been submitted however; a judicial review has recently been denied.

Mr. Willcox has served nearly 7 years in prison both in Thailand and the UK, for drug possession whilst he was living on the Thai island of Koh Samui in 2003. Mr. Willcox has always maintained that the small quantity of drugs – 0.8oz of heroin, 0.7oz of marijuana and several amphetamine and ecstasy tablets – found in his home were for personal use. However, in Thailand that amount is legally considered enough to warrant a charge of supply, which carries much harsher penalties, including death.

“I’m not bitter towards the Thai government, I accept they have their laws,” but “I would be out now if this had happened here,” I don’t understand “why can’t the Government here do something? They’re keeping me here for a trivial crime,” stated Mr. Willcox. If he fails to get a pardon, or to be resentenced, he could be in prison until he is 68.

Mr. Willcox spoke about his time inside two Thai prisons, advising people to learn from his mistakes. Initially after his arrest he was taken to the Bambat remand prison. He explains the conditions there to have been “horrendous – everything you imagine a Thai prison to be.” Water for the showers reportedly came from the sewers, and swarms of cockroaches infested the building. Second to all that, he explained that he was kept in 12kg shackles for the seven months he was there. He sat, slept and ate in a tiny cell with not enough room to lay down due to the sea of bodies in their with him.

After sentencing Mr. Willcox was removed to the Bang Kwang prison in Bangkok – ironically known as the Bangkok Hilton – he stated that “Visiting conditions were much better there, when I first arrived I was put in shackles again, but only for a month. Living conditions were similar though. The water was filthy – you could see the faeces in the water when you were showering, sometimes you’d see a rat swim past. We were constantly getting infections and there were cockroaches like you wouldn’t believe.”

For further information on the case of Steve Willcox or to join his petition for a royal pardon visit his website at; www.steveatbangkwang.bravehost.com

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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