How’s this for Spanish justice.
At 73 Years old and losing my sight through glaucoma, just as I was about to board the ferry home to the UK, I was arrested, not told why, taken to a police station where I was told to sign papers in Spanish which I could not understand. I refused, so consequently had my finger prints taken by the aggressive police woman who had prepared the papers. After an hour and a half I was taken to another police station where all my possessions were taken away from me, except for over €1000 which I was told to put it back in my pocket, why?
I was then locked into a windowless cell with no lights. I thought I was going to die as I suffer severely with claustrophobia. I just sat and prayed. What seemed like an eternity passed before I was taken to a room where my fingerprints and palm prints were taken and 3 photos of my face from different angles. I was then returned to the same cell and locked in.
All I was wearing was a thin, short sleeved shirt, shorts and flip flops. I sat huddled up, trembling from a combination of fear and cold. I was on the verge of smashing my head against the cell walls as a means of being taken out of the confined, dark cell, even if it meant being hospitalised, so great was my fear.
Suddenly the door was unlocked and I was then locked into the back of a police vehicle specifically designed for carrying prisoners. One of the cops in the front of the vehicle was carrying my belongings. He asked me if I had my money with me, the €1000 plus. “Yes”, I replied, but was filled with dread and fear. I was terrified that I would be driven out into the countryside, pretending to be released, only to be shot dead for trying to escape, giving the cops the opportunity to steal my money. I could come to no other logical conclusion as to why I was told to put the money back in my pocket when all my other possessions were taken and then the cops confirming I had it with me before being locked into the back of the police vehicle. I had never in my life been so frightened. I just wanted to die.
After a while I was removed from the police vehicle and once again locked into a cell. By now, more than six hours had passed since I was arrested and I had not even been given a glass of water. I was in such a nervous state, my mouth and throat were parched and I found it difficult to breathe properly.
I don’t know how much more time passed before I was escorted from the cell by a lawyer and translator, to an office where women were working on computers. One of them asked me three questions relating to a claim I had made against my son, a martial arts expert, more than three years prior. He had attacked me on two separate occasions, apparently after using cocaine. On both occasions I needed hospital treatment. Not being content with beating me up, he also stole my van, caravan, bicycles and tools as well as my friend’s bicycles. What did the police do? Absolutely nothing. I paid a Lawyer €1000 to take him to court, where he failed to show up. He then left the island (Ibiza). A warrant was issued for his arrest. Why, I asked, have I been arrested, treated as if I were a criminal, forced to miss my ferry, just because a woman in an office wanted to ask me three questions relating to claim I made three and a quarter years ago. All this information was on file not only from statements I had made to the police, but also reports that my lawyer had lodged with the court, not to mention reports from the hospital relating to my injuries, which were again verified by a police forensics expert. But most significant of all, my home address in Ibiza was on the papers right in front of me. So if the court wanted to verify any information, they already had it on file from all the other pre-mentioned officials. Why the hell did they not come to my home address in Ibiza instead of the totally unjustifiable method that had been used against me, just so I could be asked three questions? Instead of receiving a reply, I was handed some documents in Spanish. The translator explained that I should always keep them with me or I would be arrested again attempting to go through any passport control in any country. I was incensed by this and now even more worried that upon arrival in the UK, I would be arrested and locked up once again, until a translator could be found to interpret the documents which were printed in Spanish. I had had enough of the gross incompetence of this damn country and wanted to put this terrible ordeal I had just suffered as far behind me as possible.
Wanting to leave as soon as possible I took a gamble and drove 150km to Bilbao not knowing if I would get there on time or if there was space on the ferry. There was, but at a cost of £180 more. This was, as far as I was concerned, a small price to pay to get as far away from Spain as quickly as possible. Little did I realise, my problems were far from over. Upon arrival at passport control, I produced the papers I had been given, which of course were not sufficient. Luckily one of the policemen there spoke English.
The next half hour was spent with the three policemen, arguing amongst themselves over how to deal with the situation. After numerous phone calls were made, I was eventually handed back my passport by one of the cops only to have it snatched back by another, then handed back to me again and then taken away once again. Had the situation not been so serious and I had not been so afraid that I would be compelled to miss the ferry and be locked up once again, it would have had the makings of a classic comedy, so typical of the type of fiasco I was becoming so accustomed to, when dealing with the Spanish authorities.
Eventually when the police decided to give me back my passport and let me go, I was informed that the papers stated I had to appear before a judge twice a month. I was shocked as to why the lawyer and translator, who were supposed to be there on my behalf, never mentioned this to me. I would have returned to Spain totally unaware of this and would have had to go through this terrible or even worse ordeal again, all for the sake of being asked three questions. From that moment on, I made up my mind, I would never set foot in this totally screwed up country ever again.
I am now receiving treatment for manic depression, something I have never suffered with before, yet as a direct result of the terrible ordeal I had suffered at the hands of the Spanish police and authorities. I am now suffering from nightmares, flashbacks and long, lonely hours of distress due to the total unfairness of having committed no crime whatsoever, yet was treated like a criminal. My ultimate goal is to have my totally unnecessary ordeal publicised, so hopefully something is done to ensure that no other individual, regardless of race, creed or colour is at the mercy of the Spanish police or legal system, having to endure the suffering I had to undergo.
A full detailed account has been sent to the European court of human rights in Strasburg, France.