Tuesday, 13 September 2016

9/13/2016 03:15:00 pm
Gavin Topley, from Bournemouth, spent six nights sleeping on the floor of a Thai jail after being denied entry from Vietnam for having stain on his passport

A BRIT backpacker was thrown into a cockroach-infested Thai prison for six nights — because handwash gel had leaked on to his passport.

Gavin Topley tried to travel to Vietnam but was refused entry at the border because of the stained travel document and returned to Bangkok.


Gavin Topley spent six days in a Thai airport detention centre after being denied entry from Vietnam

But his 30-day Thai visa expired and he was held at the airport detainee centre, where he slept on a floor mat in a 30ft by 20ft cell.

Gavin, 30, documented the conditions by taking selfies and snaps on his mobile phone, which he was allowed to keep.

He said: “I was made to feel like a criminal. Prison was hell on earth. It was absolutely horrific. I wouldn’t wish a stay there on anyone.”

Gavin, from Bournemouth, was sent back to Thailand because of the stain on the passport, but his visa had already expired


The 30-year-old kept friends and family updated by taking pictures on his phone


The backpacker chose to sleep on the floor mats because the prison’s bed sheets were infested with bed bugs

The backpacker said he slept on the floor mat because the sheets on the bunks were infested with bedbugs — and there were cockroaches “everywhere”.

The toilets stank, there was no soap or loo roll, the bin was full and other inmates spat on the floor.

Gavin said men and women were detained together.

He said: “I had to step in to prevent sexual harassment of a woman by a man who was fondling his genitals.”


The dirty bed sheets show grim reality of prison life


The backpacker said men and women slept together and he had to step in to save a woman from being sexually harassed


The prison was infested with cockroaches


Gavin also said the bins were full, and there was no soap or loo rol


Each night in the centre cost Gavin the equivalent of £16


Gavin had been planning on taking a £600-a-week English teaching job in Vietnam

The ex-Army veterinary and medical technician, from Bournemouth, was going to Vietnam to take up a £600-a-week English teaching job. He intends to return within a month once he gets a new passport.

He was charged £16 a night for his detention. Pals even launched a #FreeGav social media campaign, which was noticed worldwide.

Friends launched a #FreeGav social media campaign for the backpacker’s release


The campaign received global support

Cho Geon wrote: “Messages of support pour in from around the world! #FreeGav — Seoul, South Korea.”

Others wrote in support from Spain and Holland.

The Foreign Office warned about the risk of overstaying a Thai visa.

A spokeswoman said: “We provided assistance in this case and are pleased that the situation has now been resolved.”


Gavin plans on returning to Vietnam within a month

Source: Sun

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