Terry's Story

In the cell I was allocated a spot about 6 ft by 2 ft 6, which you were expected to stay in, there was no one else to go to be quite honest, you couldn’t walk anywhere, because all the floor space was taken up. In the corner there was a place to use the toilet. I actually had some paper, and I wrote a letter and gave it to the guard and he ripped it up. That letter was to my wife.

When you went into your cell at night, all the cells are upstairs, and you have to stand in a long line but you don’t stand, you have to crouch. Everybody has to crouch and you go at knee level which is very degrading. And when you get there you stand up and get searched, and very often the guards would grab you in private places or pull your trousers down in front of everyone, just because they could. And if somebody didn’t like somebody they would make them climb up onto the wire cage and hang by their fingers, just before they go up into the room.

One day we had a visit from the Red Cross, but we were warned the day before that the Red Cross would be coming, and anyone who said anything or did anything out of line, would be beaten. So obviously we were kept out the way, and everything was made to look tidy and nice, and no one could say anything.

I had a message form the British Embassy telling me about Prisoners Abroad and I think they sent me a leaflet. And they asked me if I wanted to contact them and I said yes. And I gave them my details and that’s when Prisoners Abroad actually got in contact and knew I was there.

Prisoners Abroad were fantastic, they didn’t judge me in any way, which was nice because there is a stigma attached to anyone who’s in prison.

It felt like someone knew I was there, and somebody was there to know about me, when up until that point, I don’t think anybody would have cared, as I said you can’t make phone calls, and it feels like no one knows about you and no one cares about you. And having that contact, for the time I was in there, it was like family, if you will, seems strange to say that but that’s what it felt like, and that kind of thing really makes a difference, it’s just that contact.

Prisoners Abroad were then able to give me money for medicine. I had just had a heart attack and the Thai’s had taken away my medicine. I had nothing and I really needed that aspirin to stop the pains I was getting, it was vital, and Prisoners Abroad gave me money for that, as well as money for food, and most importantly, they gave me money for fresh water which meant I could buy bottles of water, and without that I don’t think I would have survived, the water was so important and I am so grateful for their help.