A British businessman endured nine horrific years in a Dubai jail hell where he had to dodge violent drug barons, rapists and mafia bosses – all because a cheque bounced.
Peter Margetts, 56, was caged in Dubai's Central Jail after his firm went bust and cheques he wrote to investors bounced.
In a shocking new book called When's Daddy Coming Home, Margetts reveals Dubai cops first threw him into a violent detention centre run by a one-eyed thug called “Cyclops”.
Margetts set up the property investment company Hampstead and Mayfair but after the economic slump in 2008, his business partner fled leaving him with huge debts.
A group of airline pilots, who had invested with Hampstead and Mayfair, cashed in their security cheques when the company went bust.
The 40 or so cheques bounced, which is illegal in the UAE, and Mr Margetts was later arrested.
Then, after a trial which took place in Arabic, a judge found him guilty of writing dud cheques and handed him a life sentence of 42 years in Dubai Central.
Behind bars, Margetts went on hunger strike and was released after his case was raised in the British Parliament by former MP Zac Goldsmith who appealed to the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed.
Margetts is happy to now be at home in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, he said: “What I regret most is not being able to see my daughter Olivia grow-up during my years in jail. She was only 18 months old when I was arrested and she's 10 now.
“There are dozens more Brits still in rotting in jail for no reason other than they went bankrupt in Dubai's property crash of 2008. It's an absolute scandal. They're good guys caught in a nightmare. Someone needs to get them out.
“The British Government must do more, but they're scared of upsetting the Sheikh.”
Margetts suffered a stroke during his prison ordeal and still suffers flashbacks.
Girl, 11, secretly filmed herself getting savage beating from her drunken mum
“Every day I had to steer clear of east European and Emirati mafia bosses. They would have cut my throat without thinking. Life meant very little,” he said.
“I will never forget one mafia murder. It happened late one afternoon. A crowd of thugs just cut the victim to pieces with knives. The blood and gore in the cellblock corridor was horrific. You could smell death.”
Margetts also witnessed an Emirati child rapist executed at dawn.
“He was shot by a firing squad on waste ground near the jail normally used for target practice by cops. It was the first execution in Dubai for years," he added.
“We inmates heard the crack of bullets and the prison fell silent for a while.”
Margetts revealed many British prisoners spent their lives as zombies – comatose on a cocktail of drugs from the prison's medical centre.
College student declared ‘insane’ when he ate man’s face after killing couple
He said: “I never touched drugs myself, but the other lads got through the pain of being separated from families by taking a handful of tablets together. It was a way of escapism. The prison governor didn't mind because it meant they were no trouble.”
Margetts stayed clear of sexual predators who he says often satisfied their lust with the prison's exotic ladyboys who sashayed between cell blocks.
“The ladyboys' story is a very sad one,” he said. “They came from countries like Thailand and were at the mercy of thugs who routinely raped them for fun, even prison staff gave them a hard time. One was thrown in solitary, handed a rope and told to hang herself.”
Margett's book described in painful detail how he and other inmates went on hunger strike to bring the plight of the so-called “cheque-cases” to world attention.
“I was only days from death and I suffered my stroke after refusing food. It left me with Bell's Palsy – a facial tic,” said the former building boss.
“I gave up the hunger protest because I realised the Dubai authorities didn't care whether I died and I still dreamt I might be freed one day to be with my precious daughter.”
Margetts says in the book that Dubai is the centre for a billion-dollar sex industry with women trafficked in from across Asia and how the city-state is one of the world's money-laundering capitals used by terror gangs like ISIS and the Italian mafia.
Margetts hopes to start a new life now he’s a free man.
He said: “I've suffered an unimaginable ordeal which has cost me my marriage, some of my sanity and almost my life. I'm very grateful to Zac Goldsmith who was able to pull strings and get me out.”
He added: “Dubai portrays itself as a glittering and glamorous holiday destination visited by millions every year, but it has a very dark side.”
A Dubai Government spokesman was asked to comment on Margetts' story, but there was no comment.
To buy a copy of When's Daddy Coming Home, click here .
Source: Read Full Article