"I broke the law and expected to be punished,
but I expected the punishment to be fair"

Daniel Holmes

My Sentence

After my arrest in 2006 I waited 5 long years out on bail, unable to leave the islands, until my case finally came to trial. I was given no warning that things were about to change when one day I was detained at a routine court appearance leaving my partner and new baby waiting for me at home. My lawyer advised me to plead guilty in the hope of leniency, but no leniency was given and in 2011, I was sentenced to over a decade in prison.

Daniel HolmesAt the time I was sentenced, I was planning my wedding but then suddenly I had to organise it through the prison governor. We had a lovely day with friends and family that day in May 2012 but when the others went for a barbecue on the beach, I was taken back to prison.

Because of the harsh sentence I received a large group of sympathetic Maltese people organised a protest march in the days before my appeal. This show of support was overwhelming and gave me the strength to continue my legal battle.

Prison BridesThroughout the past 11 years since my initial arrest there has been widespread interest in my case, my treatment by the Maltese legal system, and the trial itself. My story has appeared in numerous newspapers here in Malta and at home in the UK. I was intereviewed for the Maltese current affairs TV programme ‘Times Talk’ and my family story was featured on the Channel 5 TV programme “Prison Brides” (first shown in 2015) and shows the first time I met my second daughter.

While many reporters have tried to give an unbiased account of all that has happened, nearly all have fallen short due to the restrictions of the Maltese authorities, which have imposed a blanket ban on me from speaking the truth on many occasions. Others just didn’t listen and wrote sensational pieces to sell their papers. I am adamant that I will tell my story and the story of others who have had to go through the persecution and unjust treatment by the Maltese justice system.

Until I am away from this island and the fear of reprisals, I will not be free in any sense of the word. In the interim, poetry has given me a voice from inside these walls.

 


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Daniel Holmes was arrested in Gozo in July 2006 for growing marijuana for personal use, then forced to stay in Malta for over 5 years awaiting trial. In November 2011 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined €23,000. We need your help in raising awareness and getting Daniel home to his wife and little girls! Please visit the Free Daniel Holmes facebook page and his Go Fund Me page.