Happy Christmas & New Year
HMP Lowdham Grange, December 2010
Sorry I've not updated for a while; after nearly five years of sitting around in a Thai prison coming home and now working from eight till five is still a bit of a shock to the body!
I've now been back for just over a year and it is still like being in a different world after my time in Bangkwang Prison. Now its a bad day if they run out of muffins in the food hall - before it was whether or not there was any kind of food to be had at all! I'll even admit, and I know that this will sound like madness to many, that I sometimes wish I was back in a Thai prison; I miss the sun badly and quite often still feel like the foreigner.
Its great to feel closer to family and friends though and a great feeling to be seeing people regularly. As you know I've had great support from family and friends from day one and I feel fortunate that this continues. I see my Mum once a month and never take that time for granted.
I have a single cell and after years of forty to a small cell it feels like a hotel room to me in many ways. I have a telephone, TV, DVD, kettle and toaster and along with my rug and poster its my little palace after Building No: 3.
The best thing is the phone. I save from my wages and Uria and I talk once a month. She's doing really well and has been there for me from day one. She is still there for me as caring and loving as ever, one in a million .....
As I have said I now work five days a week making chairs and earning £4 a day. When its busy the time flies which is good and gives me less time to dwell on things. My case is not going too well; I applied for a Pardon from the last British Government which Jack Straw said No to. I didn't ask for or expect a full Pardon but hoped to have my sentence bought into line with the maximum which could have been given here for my crime ..... fourteen years as opposed to the thirty which I received. I also applied to the High Court in London which also declined my request. My last throw of the dice is to take my request to the Appeals Court to be heard by three judges but to be honest I'm not feeling optimistic.
At the moment my earliest possible release date is 8th August 2020, almost another nine and a half years to serve which you the tax payer is paying for at approximately £40,000.00 a year. I am not even anywhere near the half way mark! I would love for someone - anyone - to tell me who is benefitting from my continued imprisonment.
I am repeatedly told that the Government have to stick rigidly to the terms of the British Transfer Treaty which states that I am to serve my full Thai sentence following my transfer. Yet when Libya wants the 'Lockerbie Bomber' to be released, and who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, this same British Transfer Treaty was used to facilitate this! This was even after the US Government requested that they don't release him. Does the fact that this person's transfer could be worth billions in oil and contracts mean that the wording of the British Transfer Treaty can be over looked or interpreted in a different way? Someone like me who was arrested with £130 worth of drugs and who is not worth anything, except to my family, is made to stay in prison as this is what I am told the Treaty states. The treaty works both ways for people transferring to and from Britain. As you have probably guessed it makes my blood boil, is it just me who considers this situation to be complete madness?
My life is now much improved with regard to living conditions after my transfer but I am serving a sentence in length of a person who is considered a danger to society/ the community. I am not a danger or a threat. I am frustrated that with more and more young people travelling, especially to the Far East, I could be using my experience to warn them of the dangers of having even the smallest quantity of drugs on them. Letting them know that the consequences of their actions will mean that not only them but their families also will be living a nightmare day in and day out for many, many years to come instead of sitting here with my life being wasted.
From the day of my arrest it has been a nightmare, not only for myself but my family as well and thats what hurts me more than any sentence could. The pain my imprisonment continues to give my Mother, who hasn't done a single thing wrong in her life but who lives with this day in and day out just as much as I do, is my bigger sentence. If by some miracle someone sees sense and I am released then my Mother will be released from her sentence and be allowed to carry on living her life. Knowing what I have put her through will be the sentence which will remain with me for life whether I am a free man or not.
If by chance you are reading this and have any ideas or thoughts about my case please feel free to write, I'm open to any ideas or suggestions. Yes I have made a mistake and done wrong and yes I deserve to be punished but surely being here until 2020 is not the answer. With the Government wanting to cut prison places due to cost surely mine is a good place to start, there are also others like me in British prisons at a cost of £40,000.00 a year.
Well I've said my bit and let off some steam, lets see if 2011 is a better year.
Thank you for continuing to write, I still get my e-mails and Facebook messages etc mailed to me weekly. Sorry if you have written and I have not replied, I do enjoy reading your messages, seeing how old school friend's lives have turned out and hearing what you are all upto. Thank you to the many friends who have always shown support with messages whilst my family and I have been serving this sentence, it really does make a difference and thank you for all of your cards and greetings.
I wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year and hope that 2011 is a great year for us all.
Write to Scott directly at:
Scott Hurford FX6742
HMP Lowdham Grange
Old Epperstone Road
You can also support Scott by signing his online petition:
You will have the option of your signature showing online as annonymouse if you wish.
Copyright Scott Hurford 2010 - All Rights Reserved