Yellow ribbons welcome home Thai prisoner

March 8, 2012

A man held in squalid conditions in a Thai prison has spoken of his four years of hell.

Yellow ribbons lined the streets of Kenley to welcome home 23-year-old Sonny Veerasawmy, on Tuesday February 28, found guilty of committing ATM fraud alongside his father Mark in February 2008.

Sonny, who maintains his innocence, experienced over-crowded cells, with 180 to a room and just two toilets and watched fellow inmates waste away suffering from diseases such as AIDS and Tuberculosis.

He said: “Words can’t describe it. It was really bad. You’re sleeping on the floor and you’ll be lucky even to get space there, the food was terrible and the conditions mean people go mental.

“I knew people who were in there only three weeks and wanted to kill themselves.”

Arrested with his father while using a cash machine in Phuket City in the south of the country during a family holiday, Sonny, of Bourne Close Lane, was accused of trying to use a card skimmer which copies debit and credit card details.

He said: “I couldn’t understand it, they had no evidence, they said there was a video of us installing it but it went missing. If we had the money to get a decent lawyer I would have got off.”

Before standing trial though Sonny was forced to spend 20 months in Phuket Provincial Jail without trial.

His case was highlighted in a documentary, Big Trouble in Thailand, aired on cable channel Bravo.

He said: “You don’t know what’s going on, the whole system is corrupt. By the time I was sentenced I had already done two years and it wasn’t worth trying to appeal. By the time that went through I’ probably have been there longer fighting it.

“The lawyers pretend they are your friend, say they can get you off, but then do nothing, they are only interested in the money.”

Separated from his father, who still has three years remaining on his sentence, Sonny kept himself sane by writing hundreds of letters to friends, family, and former inmates.

He said: “I think they must have thought I was going made, I’d just sit and write and write. Sometimes I’d take two days drawing a picture to go with the letter. It was the only way I could keep in contact.”

Even on his release Sonny’s trial was not over.

Sent to immigration to await a flight home he was confronted with prison-like conditions.

He said: “It was worse than prison. We were only allowed out two times a week and then only for a few hours and the food was dreadful. There are guys there, refugees who have been there for years, it is unbelievable.”

He was greeted with a surprise party at Whyteleafe Football Club by friends on Saturday March 3.

He said: “I have to say a huge thank you to all my friends, it is still sinking in I’m home, weird, but I am so grateful to my friends who haven’t disappeared but stuck by me.”


7 Responses to Yellow ribbons welcome home Thai prisoner

  1. Dave
    April 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Know this guy, Walking around patong talking to much, 19 years old acting like he owned the place, some of us have bets here on how long these type of guys last, so easy to tell scammed from a tourist

  2. Dave The Anus..
    May 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Well Dave your talking out your rearend Big Time. As This Guy has never been in Patong, He Was In Phuket Prison For Your Imformation.. So if you want to leave Feedback make sure it is right and to the Facts You Moron.!!

  3. May 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I am not the 1st Dave that replied by the way, sounds a fascinating story and you should write a book mate.
    Add some of the letters and pictures you wrote and your experiences, potentially a best seller, if/when you do let me know and I will stock it in my bookshop in Pattaya Thailand, Canterbury Tales Cafe & Bookshop.

  4. Dave
    May 21, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I always thought patong was in Phuket? Where was I living for 5 yrs? Maybe ask sunny did he ever go there? Almost as bad as his mate darkie who’s doing a quick 7 for stupidity. Phom my chai NGO na khrap

  5. sonny
    May 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    this story is about me u nob and i was only there for a couple of days and not in patong u nobhead its ppl like u for stupid over stay that dont last 5min in side your day will come when u mess up cos u smart 1 allway do nob head loool

  6. Dave
    June 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    How’s your mate darkie? Remember bob the aussie? You were doing it hard inside, Crying and shit. Couple of days huh? We all knew what you were up to you little fat piece of shit,

  7. Jamie
    July 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    What a dick. A crime like this should have stayed in Croydon or a bigger city like Bangkok. What a classic father son combo!

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