Update From H.M.P. Lowdham Grange
I've now been back in the UK for eight months and have recently moved from H.M.P. Wandsworth in London to H.M.P. Lowdham Grange which is near Nottingham and about an hours drive from my hometown. It's great for my family for visits and sure beats the twelve hour filght to Thailand!
I see my Mum and Step-Dad every month which is brilliant for us all after the last five years. My Mum is looking great, some of the weight has been lifted from her shoulders. With my release date being set for 18th August 2020 this is still a long way from being over for us though.
One of the first things I did on my return last November was to apply for a Pardon from the then Home Secretary Jack Straw in an attempt to have my sentence bought in line with UK sentencing guidlines and reset to fourteen years. This was turned down which was like being sentenced all over again. Fourteen years is the maximum sentence a British court could pass for the crime which I have committed. My family and myself had high hopes that Mr Straw would look into my case and perhaps feel that we have all already paid a high price for that crime. It was not to be and my Thai sentence still stands.
It has not all been bad news; in April of this year the King of Thailand gave a small Amnesty for prisoners. I am serving my Thai sentence so should be included in this which will reduce my sentence by about eighteen months, I am waiting to have this confirmed. If this is the case my release date will then be set for early 2019, it's a little but not enough to raise my spirits too much because when I look at the bigger picture I am still not even halfway through my sentence. After everything that has happened to me and my family, not even to be halfway through sometimes gets me down ....
I'm now in the process of taking my case to the High Court in London which may be sometime next summer in the hope that I can try again for a Pardon from the new Government. Fingers crossed!!
The one positive thing about my life at the moment is coming to Lowdham Grange and being close to my family at last; catching up with people I've not seen for years. I had not seen my cousin Mark for maybe eight years so we had plenty to catch up on. Like wise with my Aunt's Vonny and Sharon. Visits like this make a big difference.
Prison life here couldn't be more different from life in Bangkwang; I'm in a single cell with an in-cell telephone. That phone has become my lifeline and it's also great in helping me to catch up with everyone. I now have to work each day and at the moment I'm doing an insutrial cleaning course which perhaps doesn't sound much but after five years of just sitting around it's a great feeling to be doing something again and I find that I'm actually enjoying it!
So things are about as good as they can get for me at the moment and as I have said from day one I'll not be beaten and I don't think I have been yet. I'd like to thank everyone of you who writes or sends messages via Facebook. Over the years it has been this support which has kept me going and continues to keep me going today. Thank you all.
One day I will write more about my life here in a British prison but the rules are different here in the UK about writing such things so please bear with me and I'll update you as much as I can.
Copyright Scott Hurford 2010 - All Rights Reserved