'I never thought this day would come' - Scot Conor Howard back home after overseas prison ordeal
Conor Howard is now back home safe in the arms of his family and girlfriend after enduring the threat of a lengthy prison sentence abroad and an eventful trip back home.
Emerging from the airport earlier today, the 27-year-old Tranent man said: “It’s fantastic. I never thought this day would come but it’s finally here.”
Mr Howard was detained by authorities in the Arab country of Qatar last October during a stopover flight between Australia and the UK after they found a cannabis grinder in his luggage he wanted to bring home for a pal “as a joke” after a year-long trip working Down Under.
The grinder was confiscated and he was allowed to go on his way.
However, in August while trying to visit his mum and stepdad in Corfu, Greek authorities were notified of an outstanding international arrest warrant in his name issued by Qatar over allegations of possession of drugs.
Mr Howard was held in a Greek prison for almost month, but later released on bail in September – although he was not allowed to leave the country until this month.
Greeted by his family and girlfriend when he finally arrived back on Scottish soil, Mr Howard admitted there had been some dark days in Greece.
“There were times – especially when I was in prison – I thought I wasn’t going to get home. It felt like it was never going to end. Then I had an e-mail from Qatar saying everything is fine the charges are getting dropped.”
The flight home was not exactly smooth.
“We got delayed by three hours because of ice on the wing of the plane. Then a fuel tanker actually hit the wing and they had to get engineers out to fix it.
“It took so long I missed my connecting flight in London and had to stay another day. That one extra day felt like an extra week. There were people who were coming to the airport to meet me on Saturday, but I couldn’t make it.Now he is back home and safe, the engineer admitted his plans for the future do not involve much travelling.
“I’ve literally just stepped out of the airport,” laughed Mr Howard. “I’m just going to see my family and spend time with them and my girlfriend.”
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