The mom of a British soccer coach who has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after 4 small bottles of vape liquid containing hashish oil had been present in his automotive has revealed the sentencing ‘breaks me day-after-day’.
Breda Guckion, 52, stated she ‘nonetheless had hope’ that Billy Hood can be launched from jail, however upon listening to her son would spend 1 / 4 of a century behind bars she stated ‘it utterly broke me’.
Hood, 24, from Notting Hill, West London, was given the cruel sentence regardless of having the ability to show the vape liquid belonged to a visiting buddy who had mistakenly left it in his automotive.
The health fanatic, who’s anti-drugs and would not smoke, was arrested 9 months in the past in January and convicted by a courtroom of drug trafficking with intent to produce final week.
His heartbroken mom Breda informed Good Morning Britain on Thursday: ‘I believe that for the primary 9 months, regardless that we knew he had achieved nothing improper, we nonetheless had that hope.
‘However listening to that it was 25 years, it broke us, it utterly broke us.’
Breda, combating again tears, added: ‘It nonetheless breaks me day-after-day simply occupied with it. Simply seeing his picture breaks me now.’
Talking about why the vape liquid was present in his automotive, she defined: ‘He had dropped off one in every of his pals on the airport they usually had left it within the automotive. And that is why it was there.’
Police in Dubai are thought to have singled out Hood after monitoring WhatsApp messages and in search of key phrases associated to medicine. Every week earlier than his arrest the buddy who owned the vape liquid despatched a message telling Hood he had mistakenly left it behind in his automotive.
British soccer coach Billy Hood, 24, from London, (pictured) has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after 4 small bottles of vape liquid containing hashish oil had been present in his automotive
Breda Guckion, 52, stated the household had ‘hope’ that Billy Hood can be launched from jail, however upon listening to her son would spend 1 / 4 of a century behind bars she stated ‘it utterly broke them’
Breda stated it’s thought that the message was intercepted as a result of it had ‘CBD’ in it. She stated: ‘Everything we get from them is in Arabic, so we’re discovering it onerous to translate everything however sure, that is what they are saying.’
The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed was final week revealed to have used spy ware to hack into the cellphone of his ex-wife and her lawyer Baroness Shackleton whereas a custody listening to was happening on the Excessive Court docket.
The United Arab Emirates are recognized to be customers of the Israeli made spy ware often called Pegasus.
Hood, who performed semi-professional soccer for Kensington and Ealing Borough FC, was surprised when police unexpectedly turned up at his flat in January and demanded to look his house and firm automotive.
4 small vials of vape liquid containing hashish oil (CBD) and a vape pen had been later discovered within the passenger door compartment.
After his arrest Hood volunteered to take a urine check for medicine which got here again damaging.
Vape liquid containing CBD ( hashish oil) is bought by excessive road shops within the UK and completely authorized though they have to comprise lower than 0.2% of THC which is the ingredient that results in customers getting ‘excessive’.
Hashish and hashish oil is unlawful in Dubai the place there’s a zero tolerance to medicine.
Hood appeared in a Dubai courtroom final week and sentenced to 25 years in jail after being convicted of drug smuggling, possession and provide.
His mom Breda accused the UK Overseas Workplace of offering the household with ‘no assist’ and made an emotional plea on Thursday for assist to get Billy house.
She stated: ‘As a mom, and I do know lots of people who know Billy, please, please, if anybody will help get Billy house, please do. That is all I can ask from you.’
When requested concerning the case, a Overseas Workplace spokesperson informed MailOnline : ‘We’re giving consular assist to a British man who has been imprisoned within the UAE.’
Breda stated she had spoken to Billy a few month in the past. She added: ‘That was a three-way name, we are able to by no means communicate to Billy direct.
‘It at all times needed to undergo the lawyer who would hook up with his brother [Alex] after which we’d get to talk to him.
‘He at all times appeared to say, ‘Oh, don’t be concerned mum. It’s going to be alright.’ However the final time that Alex stated he spoke to him, he stated that he felt like he was damaged.’
Police in Dubai are thought to have singled out Billy (left, together with his aunt) after monitoring WhatsApp messages as per week earlier than his arrest the buddy, who owned the vape liquid, despatched a message telling him he had mistakenly left it behind in his automotive
Talking about his arrest, Billy stated: ‘I don’t smoke vape pens, cigarettes and even sheesha. I’m very anti-drugs and spend my days teaching in colleges with kids.
‘I had simply moved to a brand new house in Dubai and went to get a cellphone charger from my automotive once I was all of a sudden approached by police.
‘They jumped out to arrest me, handcuffed me. One officers pointed a taser at me, threatening to make use of it if I didn’t cooperate.
‘They demanded I present them the place the medicine had been. I used to be shocked and confused and informed them I wasn’t in possession of any medicine.’
Hood stated one of many arresting officers stated they had been fascinated with him from social media however didn’t take his cellphone or laptop. He maintains there was no point out of the vape liquid on social media however in a single WhatsApp message.
Police additionally discovered a couple of thousand kilos in money in his flat however Hood’s employers informed police that they had paid him they cash whereas his checking account was being arrange.
The stress group Detained in Dubai, who’re representing the household, imagine the one rationalization for police turning up unannounced could possibly be authorities monitoring WhatsApp and studying the message concerning the vape liquid.
Vape liquid containing CBD with lower than 0.2% of THC is authorized within the UK, however is unlawful in Dubai the place there’s a zero tolerance to medicine (inventory picture)
Hood was held at a police station for 4 days the place he was informed if he didn’t signal a confession written in Arabic he would by no means be allowed to depart.
Relations stated he was so frightened and drained that he agreed not understanding he had admitted such critical crimes.
His mom Breda stated: ‘We did not even know Billy was arrested.
‘It was the truth that he did not flip up for work for 3 days and his boss went to the police station reporting Billy lacking that they discovered then that he had been locked up. Not even his pals in Dubai knew that he had been arrested.’
Talking about her son’s jail situations in Dubai, Breda added: ‘I do know at first they weren’t good, once they made him signal that assertion.
‘I do know that he was in a room with 30 others, sleeping on a ground with a blanket, bread and water – nothing else. Till he signed that assertion that was in Arabic.
‘I believe he did after the fourth or fifth day, however they laughed in his face and stated, “Nicely, for those who do not signal it you are not getting out of right here”.’
When Hood appeared earlier than a courtroom final week and was convicted of drug smuggling, possession and provide and given the utmost sentence.
His anxious household are pinning their hopes on an enchantment subsequent week the place attorneys will argue he was bullied into signing the confession and show there isn’t any proof that the vape liquid was his.
His brother Alex informed Mail On-line: ‘It has been tough to deal with Billy’s ongoing detention and the concept he could possibly be in jail till he’s 50.
‘You possibly can not meet anybody extra health targeted that Billy. He has by no means been into medicine and doesn’t even smoke. We by no means thought shifting to Dubai could possibly be a one-way ticket.’
Hood’s greatest buddy Alfred Cain informed Good Morning Britain: ‘Billy is likely one of the most constructive people who I’ve come throughout in my life, and once I’ve had the prospect to talk to him, he feels like he is holding it collectively.
‘However once you’re in a UAE jail half method internationally, you by no means know the way somebody is feeling inside.’
Talking about Hood’s time in Dubai earlier than his arrest, Alfred stated: ‘He’d been on the market about two years and within the first eight months I keep in mind he got here again.
‘It will get extraordinarily sizzling on the market and he got here again for about 4 months and he was having the time of his life. He had been doing his teaching badges and simply wished to progress as a soccer coach after which come again right here [to the UK] and keep it up progressing.’
The household are essential of the British Embassy in Dubai who they declare haven’t visited Billy in the course of the 9 months he has been held in jail.
Hood’s mom Breda stated: ‘I’ve hidden myself away crying and crying once I consider what my son goes by way of.
‘It’s not possible that he’s concerned in medicine and my son doesn’t deserve this and I enchantment to Sheikh Mohammed to intervene on this case. My son is harmless.’
Radha Sterling, founding father of Detained in Dubai, stated: Dubai police’s handing of medicine circumstances has resulted in quite a few unfair detentions of international nationals.
‘We have now seen individuals arrested and even convicted with out proof, usually on the premise of a pressured confession in Arabic or from some third social gathering.
‘Drug convictions are prestigious for police resulting in promotions and the courts don’t want substantial proof to safe a conviction. Overseas nationals discover it nearly not possible to attain a good listening to and false allegations are frequent place.’
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