A BROMSGROVE man is locked in a Thai prison suffering conditions his dad has labelled ‘unfit for humans’.
Lance Whitmore has spent the last seven months crammed in a cell, built for 20 with 84 others and just one toilet, in Klong Prem Prison after being caught by a drug-dealing sting.
The 26-year-old was arrested on August 19, 2014, in NongPrue Banglamung, after he sold 200 ecstasy pills to an undercover police officer, for 90,000baht (£1,867). Later on Lance admitted to selling the drugs and who they belonged to.
Lance’s parents have now launched an appeal asking for help for their son.
Lance’s father Russ said: “The only picture I see of him every day is burnt into my brain, of Lance in Hell-on-Earth, wasting away.”
He said the incident happened while Lance was depressed following the deaths of his grandfather, fiancee and losing his oil industry job.
Russ claimed, after his arrest, Lance was held for three days in a safe-house by police without food or water, in 34 degrees celsius heat, until he said what they wanted to hear.
He added his son had been denied bail and needed medication for a bipolar disorder and teeth infections.
Russ said the prison, on several occasions, had denied Lance’s lawyers access telling them they did not know where and who Lance was.
Lance’s father also accused the police of changing evidence – he claimed the arrest sheet taken by the police at the time he was apprehended was different to the one presented in court.
Debbie Caswell, Lance’s mum, said a number of events led to his depression and him ending up where he was, including him having to leave the army after he suffered a severe back injury.
Things started looking up after Lance got a Thai work permit and was employed by an oil company – the move also allowed him to be closer to his dad who lived in the country.
Debbie added her son also met Jitma Tahin, also known as Tree, who later became his fiancee.
She said Lance was really happy until his grandad Malcombe, who used to visit him three times a year, was taken ill with cancer.
Lance returned to the UK to spend any remaining time he had left with his grandad but while he was away he received news Tree was in intensive care on a life support machine.
Debbie said her son had to decide whether or not to go to his fiancee’s side and risk losing the time he had left with his grandad.
Lance went back to Thailand and sat by Tree’s bedside everyday – even sleeping in the hospital corridors, in the hope he could return to his grandad afterwards.
Doctors even had to convince him to go home to get washed and get changed.
Debbie added, when he was away Tree’s parents switched of the life support machine without telling him, devastating her son.
Lance’s grandad also passed away and he ended up missing his funeral which led to Lance becoming so depressed he tried to take his life, she said.
“This has resulted in me feeling I’ve lost my son as I have had no contact with him.
“His dad does visit him weekly, but it has distressed him so much seeing his son locked up in a Thai prison knowing he desperately needs medical hep for his depression and both of us fearing daily he may try to take his life again in there.
“The result of where Lance is now is only because of what Lance foolishly chose to do, and only because of the reasons I’ve listed.”