Billy Hood has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Dubai for four bottles of CBD oil – mother Breda Guckion says that the Foreign Office “did not help at all”
The mother of a British man who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Dubai after being found with CBD oil has accused the Federal Foreign Office of failing to support the family.
Billy Hood, 24, was convicted last week after four bottles of oil were found in his car in January.
When asked whether she had received support from the Foreign Office, his mother Breda Guckion said: “No, not at all.”
She pleaded emotionally, saying, “As a mother and I know a lot of people who know Billy, please, please, if anyone can help bring Billy home, please.
“That’s all I can ask of you.”
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Billy says the CBD, which is legal in the UK, was left in the vehicle by a friend from England.
He claims he was forced to sign a confession before being convicted of drug trafficking for delivery purposes.
In response to the jail sentence, Breda said, “It completely broke us. It still breaks me every day just thinking about just seeing his photo there. “
Billy moved to the United Arab Emirates to work as a football coach.
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After his arrest, he was reportedly held in an isolation cell for 14 days.
Breda said, “We didn’t even know Billy was arrested. It was the fact that he didn’t show up for three days and his boss went to the police and reported Billy missing … “
Radha Stirling, an activist imprisoned in Dubai, helps the family. She said: “Only when there is diplomatic pressure to encourage the UAE’s higher authorities to look into the case will there be a positive outcome for Billy.
“And what we’ve seen at the Forgein Office is that they are less and less inclined to help UK nationals as the UAE becomes a stronger trading partner.
“So there is quite a conflict of interest that can result in innocent victims like Billy being locked up for extremely long periods of time. Longer than a violent crime or murder. “
Breda previously criticized the FCO, saying: “After hearing about the other cases where people have been hired by the police or falsely charged with a crime, I can’t believe the UK government has not included this in their travel warnings. “
A spokesman for the Foreign Commonwealth Office said: “We are giving consular support to a British man who is imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates.”
Comment was requested from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates but has yet to respond.