Photo by Detained in Dubai
The man is 25-year-old Brian Hood, and he was convicted for drug trafficking with the intent to supply. Authorities found the oil in his car about a month ago, and he was given an unnecessary 25-year sentence.
The Daily Mail reports that yesterday, at an appeal court in Abu Dhabi, Hood’s sentence was cut to ten years after the court found Hood was “unintentionally possessing” the CBD oil and had “no intent to supply.” What’s even worse is the court decided to cut Hood’s sentence just days following the United Arab Emirates decision to establish new laws that would deport first-offender foreigners caught with drugs rather than imprisoning them.
The new rules should be set in place by next year but still don’t apply to cases like Hood and will not be applied to those already serving drug-related sentences, which means they have to finish their time. An organization that helps foreigners who have been arrested in Dubai was in the courtroom for Hood’s appeal.
The organization is called Detained in Dubai. A spokesperson explained to the court that the organization is shocked to hear about sentencing Hood to ten years in prison “despite new legislation eliminating prison sentences for foreigners found in possession and allowing for deportation instead.”
CEO of Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling, said police were “extremely negligent” when making the wrongful arrest of football coach Brian Hood. She continued that no evidence proves Hood was trying to traffick or sell drugs. “Dubai’s overzealous prosecution has ruined this young man’s life and put him and his family through hell,” she said in a media release.
Stirling added that law enforcement turned what would have been a “small possession case at worst into a federal case” that sees Hood unnecessarily locked up for years in a foreign country far away from home.
Hood’s mother, Breda Guickion, is more than heartbroken. She’s been battling to release her son and said in a media release after the ruling that the case is “very confusing” while questioning, “how can this have escalated as far as it has?”
She added her attempts to avoid getting her hopes up for the recent appeal, saying she had a feeling that things wouldn’t fall her way. Now, Guickion is facing the possibility that she may not see her son before Christmas, concluding that “words cannot express how broken I am feeling.”
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