In a brand new documentary series, three British travelers have revealed how their fancy holidays in foreign countries landed them behind bars.
Their stories were featured in a new four-part 5Star series called “Young, Dumb, and Banged Up in the Sun,” which is about Young Britons whose carefree days abroad inadvertently turned into a nightmare.
From being inducted for having sex outside of marriage to being framed for fraud, their stories highlight how momentary lapse of caution can make things spiral out of control.
Rebecca Blake, Daniel Bransbury and Josh Lomas Mears shared horrific tales of how they ended up facing jail sentences on their respective trips to Dubai, Miami and Thailand.
Blake was a recruitment consultant from Surrey who moved to Dubai after visiting her sister who was living in the Emirates. The glitz and glamour of the city casted a spell on Blake who wanted to enjoy every bit of entertainment the place had to offer.
“It's great out there. Boat parties, brunches, no crime. Just generally really nice culture, lovely people. I settled in really quickly. It's bars, bars, clubs and nightlife. I'm never coming home. I was caught up in the whole Dubai, tax free, social, social, social,” she said.
However, little did she know, her dream trip to Dubai would turn upside down after she shared a taxi with an Irish man after a booze binge in the city.
“It's only until what happened I saw a very dark side of Dubai,” explained Blake.
The 35-year-old met Connor McRedwood at a brunch party in May 2012. The pair hit it off and later decided to leave together. The two got a cab, with her companion carrying an open bottle of beer.
“I had no idea alcohol was illegal unless you had a license,” she recalled. “I had no idea that was going to be the moment my life completely changed.”
“He had a bottle of beer on him. We got into a taxi and the driver started going completely the wrong way. We ended up having a bit of an argument. Next thing we know, he pulls over. There's a police car on the side,” added Blake.
The taxi driver claimed the pair had been having sex in the back of his cab and the pair was driven to a police station, where Blake was reportedly breathalyzed and handcuffed, before being transferred to prison.
“My heart sank, I just knew something wasn't right. It looked like a dungeon. It was all underground. The smell was revolting. It smelled of really strong urinal,” she said.
“Women were just lying on the concrete floor on old mattresses, falling apart,” the 35-year-old recalled.
The next morning she was reportedly shackled and taken for a thorough examination to determine whether she'd recently had intercourse.
“It was very intrusive. Very degrading. I felt dirty. It was a 45-minute to one hour examination,” said Blake.
Five days later, the former recruitment consultant was released on bail but still had to go to court.
Though the tests showed she was innocent, Blake was charged with having sex outside of marriage, public indecency and drinking without a license.
“Because I was in the papers they wanted to make an example,” she explained, referring to the fact she had already hit the front pages back home.
After a couple of months, at her second court appearance, the sex charge was dropped but she was found guilty of indecency because her male companion's hand had been on her shoulder.
Blake recounted the horrifying moment she stepped foot in the prison and the women there started hissing at her and banging on the doors.
“They hissed at me privileged English b****. I thought ‘Am I going to feel a knife?’ They watched Downton Abbey and thought I was: ‘I'm from England, I'm wonderful and great,’” she said.
“Everyone was speaking Arabic and I didn’t understand a word. I went to go to the toilet and it was just a hole in the floor — and I could see bugs running around everywhere. It was so hot because the air conditioning had broken. I just lay on a mattress crying. A cockroach bit my face and there was no natural light because the cell was underground,” Blake added.
The woman’s ordeal ended in three months when she was released from the prison. She left Dubai immediately and has never returned since.
The story of Daniel Bransbury was no different, as he only had party on his mind when he saved $3,881.76 to spend a Memorial Weekend in Miami.
But, unfortunately Bransbury, a resident of London, ended up getting charged with 3rd degree grand theft, organized fraud and handling forged notes in 2013.
“Once minute, you're shutting down clubs and spending money. You blink and you're on the floor in a holding cell,” he said.
Though Bransbury remained locked up for a month before he was freed to go, he never received a full explanation of what really happened with him or got his money back.
“I was on the way home and thinking ‘this is just one big movie, I never want to be in again,’” he said.
Likewise, a personal trainer from Lancashire decided to reside permanently in Thailand to start a new life after discovering “heaven on earth” during a trip with his brother.
However, just eight months into his stay, Josh Lomas Mears was arrested after a fight broke out while he was drinking at a bar with his friends.
Mears was given a choice to either pay a fine or face a three-year jail sentence. He chose the former and went back to his native country.
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