A RIBBLE VALLEY man who has endured an 18-month nightmare sentence in a notorious Thai prison has finally been repatriated to a British jail.
Former Queen Elizabeth Grammar School pupil and university graduate, Christopher Egan (35), who was jailed in Thailand for narcotics offences in February 2004, has been transferred to Wands-worth Prison, London.
Throughout his ordeal, Christopher, pictured, has strenously denied the allegation and believes the drugs may have been planted by police informers, who profit from the arrest.
The ex-English teacher is being assessed and undergoing medical treatment and could be transferred to a low-category Lancashire prison later this year to serve the remainder of his sentence.
His relieved parents, Mr and Mrs Tony and Joan Egan, of King Street, Whalley, have spoken of their elation on their son's release from Klongprem Men's Prison – better known as the notorious Bangkok Hilton.
Retired accountant, Mr Egan (63), said: "We are extremely relieved that he is finally in a British prison.
"Since his arrival last week, he has phoned home a few times, however, we are anxiously waiting for him to apply for a visiting order so we can go and see him."
Although the couple said they were pleased that Christopher was in England, they stressed that Christopher will now have to adjust to a completely new way of life. They are hoping that he will complete his remaining sentence in a Lancashire jail and could possibly be allowed out on a home detection curfew (commonly known as "tagging" as early as April.The family has been warned that due to prison overcrowding, especially in the North West, he may have to stay in the high-security Wandsworth Prison for some time. He will, however, be totally free in September next year.
"There is a lot to take in," explained Mr Egan. "Christopher is very confused and insecure because of the lack of information. His head is all over the place and he is very much uncertain as to what is going to happen next. I think once he is in a North West jail, he will feel much better and think about what he is going to do in the future. He has previously said that he wants to do something with drug rehabilitation."
The couple expressed their gratitude to the Foreign Office and British Embassy who ensured their son's transfer went smoothly and he was well looked after during the flight and on arrival in Wandsworth. During a phone-call last week, Christopher revealed he is being taken care of and has the comfort of a bed, mattress, television and radio in his room.
In the past, he has been extremely glad to receive letters from friends and people who have read about his plight in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times. Mr Egan is once again urging supporters to continue to write to him until his release next year.
He said: "All the letters are very much appreciated and provide him with a great deal of comfort. The large amount of support he has received has really helped him."
l Anyone wishing to write to Christopher can do so by addressing their letters to: Christopher Egan D4-27, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, Wandsworth, London, SW18 3HS.
22 September 2005 -