Lance Whitmore gets 50 Years in Bangkok Hilton.
An Englishman failed in a bid to have his 50 year jail sentence for drug dealing reduced yesterday at the criminal court in Bangkok.
Lance Whitmore, 28, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, England, was jailed in July 2015 for 50 years after pleading guilty to possession of hundreds of Ecstasy tablets after he and 26-year-old Jake Mastroianni, from Melbourne were arrested in 2014 in Pattaya with a total of 261 tablets.
Mastroianni, who was handed two life sentences as he pleaded not guilty to the charges, also lost his appeal to have his sentence reduced.
Neither man plan to take their appeals to the supreme court as this would delay their applications to be transferred to prisons in the UK and Australia.
Under Thai law, Whitmore must serve four years before he can be apply to be transferred back to the UK while Mastroianni has to serve a minimum of 8 years due to his harsher sentence under the International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme. Both men have served two years.
The pair were arrested when Whitmore tried to sell 200 ecstasy tablets to a British informant used by Thai police outside a Pattaya supermarket. A further 61 pills were found at Mastroianni’s apartment, implicating him in the drug deal.
Following his arrest, Whitmore’s family claimed he was stricken with grief following the death of his girlfriend and only carrying the drugs for his friend.
He had moved to Thailand over 5 years before this and had a good job working for a petroleum company after being medically discharged from the army following a training accident.
A few months before being caught with the pills, Lance’s girlfriend died from Meningitis. She was only 25 years old. His family, who have been campaigning for his release to the UK, said that Lance had never been involved with drugs before in his life and say that he was grief stricken, which led to his out of character behaviour.
Mr. Whitmore pleaded guilty in the hope of getting a reduced sentence for a crime that can carry the death sentence.
Lance will serve his sentence in Bangkok’s notorious Klong Prem prison, which is also known as the ‘Bangkok Hilton.’ The conditions at this place of incarceration are often described as inhuman with up to 70 inmates packed into cells that were designed for 20 prisoners.
You won’t find any beds here either, prisoners have to sleep on the hard concrete floors. The food provided by the prison is likened to WWII Prisoner of War rations. Many inmates use drugs and Aids is a huge problem here. He will be very lucky to survive 50 years here, or maybe not.