The special forces veteran was arrested at Abu Dhabi’s international airport after expressing concerns there “could be a bomb on the plane”. He was sentenced to a £104,000 fine, the equivalent of 13 years in prison had he not been able to come up with the money. This is in spite of the UAE’s medical board determining that he was not of sound mind and was suffering from physical and mental trauma.
“When the incident occurred which led to his arrest, Steve was on his way home to his family to go to hospital for treatment for undiagnosed PTSD because his mental and emotional state had been rapidly deteriorating while on holiday in the UAE. We are very glad to see his journey home finally completed so Steve can receive the help he needs. However, Abu Dhabi demanded a payment of £104,000 for Steve’s release, which is more than what 96% of Britons earn in a year; it was an exorbitant fine that would have guaranteed jail time for a man already suffering severe psychological trauma had the family been unable to raise the funds.
“Etihad pushed the police to drop the case after reviewing his medical evidence but by then, it was too late”.
“I have spoken with Steve’s sister Clare, and of course they are ecstatic that Steve is home and recuperating with his family. They are immensely grateful for the generous support of all those who contributed to enable them to pay the fine; and they kindly request for their privacy to be respected. The family has been through a nightmare over the past several weeks, and we are very happy to see that nightmare come to an end.
“This case, however, represents a stark warning to any British citizens travelling to the UAE, and we can assume that the Emirates will only be emboldened by how this case was resolved. Abu Dhabi has learned that the FCDO is effectively neutralised, and unless someone is able to earn the attention of the international media, they will have no recourse for justice in the UAE.”
Founder & CEO at Detained in Dubai