A woman who claims she was wrongly jailed for smuggling 3.8 kilos of cocaine is publishing a book chronicling her 14 year fight for justice.
Terry Daniels, of Wingrave, was not caught in possession of drugs directly, but cocaine was found in the suitcase of her travelling companion.
She was jailed for 10 years by a Spanish-only speaking court after a 90 minute trial and later released thanks to a Royal Pardon from the King of Spain in 2009.
The landmark case has led to changes in EU law, which will come into force in 2013, to ensure that the accused gets access to an interpreter and can understand the evidence presented against them. The nightmare ordeal started in 1997, when Miss Daniels was working in Tenerife as a holiday rep.
Her boss took her on a trip to Brazil and on their return cocaine was found in his suitcase.
Soon after her arrest she suffered a near fatal brain haemorrhage and did not start her sentence until 2005.
After 19 months in Spanish mixed prisons, where men outnumbered women by 10-to-1, she was transferred to a British jail on medical grounds.
Buckingham MP John Bercow was one of those calling for her to be released alongside the Fair Trials International group.
“I started to write the book when I was prison,” said Miss Daniels. “It was a diary. I decided I’m going to record everything that happens and I will write a book when I get out of prison.”
Although she admits to taking drugs in 1997 recreationally, she now reflects that she was ‘naive’ and being groomed as a drugs mule – and gives talks in school assemblies to warn youngsters about the dangers.
She says: “The kids today don’t realise the knock-on effects of drugs and being a criminal. It’s not all over when you are released from jail.
“I have a criminal record that I will never lose and it’s hard getting a job even though I have an explanation for it.”
She also hopes the book highlights how people can get trapped in foreign legal systems, noting that ‘it wasn’t like I was arrested in a third world country, Spain is in the EU.”
> Passport To Hell is released in January by Summersdale.