Lance Whitmore gets 50 Years in Bangkok Hilton!
On 30 th June 2015 Lance Whitmore, an ex-soldier from the UK, received a 50 year sentence for having over 200 Ecstasy pills in his possession when searched and arrested in Pattaya. 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.
Thailand’s drug laws are tough, but it’s unusual for them to be enforced so severely for a foreigner.
This is a very sad story born from personal loss and grief. It’s easy to say “if you do the crime, you’ve got to do the time.” In Lances case, yes he was very wrong to get involved with illegal substances, but isn’t he also the victim?
Losing a loved one, especially at such a young age, can send anyone off the rails. Hopefully this story will have a better ending than a lifetime wasted in one of the world’s toughest prisons.