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Nightmare end to her dream trip
By Paula Roberts

ORDEAL: Daisy Angus pictured in 1998.

IT was meant to be the adventure of a lifetime. Pretty Daisy Angus was just 22 when she embarked on a round-the-world trip.

But it led to a cell in India where she has just been sentenced to 10 years for smuggling cannabis. It will be another six years before she is freed.

Daisy had given up her job as a fitness instructor and health referral consultant at Bournemouth's Littledown Centre to travel.

But it was at Mumbai Airport in November 2002 when Daisy's future was shattered.

Customs officials stopped her as she put her bags through the x-ray machine.

Suspicious of what was inside, officers opened her suitcase and discovered 10kg of cannabis hidden in a secret compartment.

Initially Daisy insisted she was given the suitcase to use after her own bag broke.

A short time later her father, John Angus, told the Echo that Daisy knew there was something in the suitcase but not what it contained.

She later retracted the statement and protested her innocence.

Daisy has been kept in a small Indian cell while her case went through the slow judicial system.

When she first arrived, Daisy wrote in an letter to her mother: "I am in a barrack box, about eight metres by eight metres, one toilet, one bucket next to the toilet.

"I am here with 20 other foreigners all from African countries. I am the only European white girl.

"We all sleep on the floor, mat to mat in two rows and roll them up in the day. Otherwise we keep clean, sweep and mop everyday.

"From 7am to 12 noon and 3pm to 6pm they open our box for a wander.

"All the Indian ladies are next door, about 150 of them."

Daisy spent three years and seven months behind bars before she was convicted by a judge.

Her trial took over two years and involved more than 50 witnesses and three judges. In that time Daisy has been hospitalised on several occasions suffering from malaria and other infections.

Despite her ordeal, Daisy has made the most of the time she has spent behind bars. In letters home she told how she has learnt Hindi and is teaching English to the other women and children in her cell.

She has also campaigned for better conditions in the jail.

Those who know Daisy well remain adamant that she couldn't have knowingly smuggled drugs.

Her family and friends living in Bournemouth remain convinced she didn't commit the crime on purpose.

A friend said: "I will never, ever, believe that she's guilty naive, silly, trusting maybe, but never guilty. I am horrified she has been found guilty but I am sure she will work hard to make the most of her time there."

Daisy receives regular visits from the UK Embassy and has the backing of human rights advocate Kay Danes of the Foreign Prisoner Support Service.

On their website the service said: "FPSS would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Daisy and her family for what has been a nightmare experience. They have shown tremendous strength.

"We hope that the British Embassy is able to move this forward to bring Daisy home to the UK where she can receive proper care and support."

While Daisy completes the remaining six years of her 10-year sentence, her friends and family will be left wondering how a young woman with a great career ahead of her could have become embroiled in such a nightmare.


Daisy's late father John

From a young age Daisy has travelled far and wide. As a youngster she travelled with her parents when they undertook volunteer activities in India, Nepal, Poland and Africa.

At 15 she was chosen to be a member of the Young People's Comm- unity Training Foundation and was taken to a seminar in Moscow at the request of the Moscow International Film School. She also received her Duke of Edinburgh award and passed 11 GCSEs.

She attended Gumley House Convent School in London before moving to Dorset and enrolling at Brockenhurst College.

She won a British Council Youth Millennium award for her volunteer youth project in Uganda, Africa.

She also travelled to Mexico to look after a young man who had been paralysed in an accident and spent six months providing 24-hour care for him.

After this, she trained in Sports Health and started working at the Littledown Centre as an instructor.

Later she took on the role of GP Health Referral Consultant.

General manager Peter Brown said: "Everybody is really, really disappointed and devastated by it.

"There are some fantastic customers who will continue to write on block and pray for her, which is phenomenal. She captured the hearts of a lot of people."

Wednesday 12th July 2006

Daisy gets 10 years in Indian Jail

FOUND GUILTY: Daisy Angus, caught carrying drugs out of Mumbai in 2002, has been sentenced to 10 years for cannabis smuggling
BOURNEMOUTH backpacker Daisy Angus has been sentenced to 10 years in an Indian prison after being found guilty of drug smuggling.

Fitness instructor Daisy, 26, protested her innocence and sobbed loudly as she was handed the lengthy jail term by a judge sitting at the Special NDPS Court in Mumbai.

She has already spent nearly four years in prison on remand while her slow-moving case was heard and will be freed in six years.

Daisy was stopped by customs officers at Mumbai airport on November 8, 2002, as she was about to board a plane to the Netherlands. The image of her luggage during x-ray examination roused suspicion. The bag was examined and customs officers discovered 10kg of cannabis in a false bottom of her suitcase.

When Special Judge PB Sawant announced the conviction, a tearful and frightened Daisy said: "I have already served almost four years in jail for a crime I did not commit.

This false case against me killed my father and grandmother."

Expressing their disappointment, Daisy's mum Nadine, younger sister Tenderesse and uncle Pascal said they believed Daisy was innocent.

Nadine said: "Expecting a fair trial, Daisy spoke the truth from the beginning."

Daisy's ordeal has lasted three and-a-half years and involved more than 50 witnesses and three judges.

Her devoted parents, Nadine and John Angus, made numerous trips from their Southbourne home to visit and listen to the court case.

But sadly in December 2005, John lost his fight with leukaemia and a heartbroken Daisy was unable to negotiate with the Indian authorities a return for the funeral.

Daisy stood accused of drug smuggling with Israeli acquaintance Yoram Kadesh but he was freed by the trial judge due to lack of evidence.

Outside the court he said: "I just want to go home."

Daisy, who was on a backpacking trip when she was arrested, also received a fine of Rs2 lakh roughly £2,500 for the charges of possession and attempted exportation of 10kg of cannabis.

If she cannot pay the fine she will have to serve an extra two years in jail.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said officials would continue to visit Daisy in Byculla District Prison, Mumbai. She added: "We do have a prisoner transfer agreement in India but whether Daisy will apply for that is up to her and her legal advisors."

If Daisy does apply for the transfer and is successful she could serve part of her sen

Wednesday 12th July 2006

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