Care home manager tells of drugs ordeal

EXCLUSIVEBy Ted JeoryTHE care home manager being held in the Caribbean on drug trafficking charges has told how she tried desperately to save her boyfriend's life after cocaine-filled condoms burst inside his stomach.

EXCLUSIVE

By Ted Jeory

THE care home manager being held in the Caribbean on drug trafficking charges has told how she tried desperately to save her boyfriend's life after cocaine-filled condoms burst inside his stomach.

Marianne Telfer, 28, from Ardleigh, has allowed the East Anglian Daily Times to print her statements, written while detained in the Dominican Republic jail known as “The Fortress”.


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She has been in custody for more than six weeks after her boyfriend, Richard Flack, 34, from Colchester collapsed and died after 18 condoms filled with cocaine burst inside his stomach.

Miss Telfer, who insisted she was innocent of drug trafficking, faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

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Her family said last night her mental condition was rapidly deteriorating while inside the jail, where some of the 400 inmates have been rioting and setting fire to mattresses in protests against their alleged treatment.

In her nine-page statement, Miss Telfer described her one-year turbulent relationship with recovering heroin addict Mr Flack and how her dreams of a future together had been shattered by lies and deceit.

She said: “In the beginning, he really appreciated being able to talk to me about his past, he felt he could move on from it because I had not known him then and I was so different to many of the other people he socialised with. People commented that Richard looked so well since he met me.”

The former pupil of the Gilberd School in Colchester added she had wanted Mr Flack to realise his full potential and not use drugs again “so the future would be a good one”.

However, their relationship began to deteriorate when he started using heroin again.

Then on January 21, Mr Flack rang Miss Telfer at work at Acorn Village in Mistley to ask if she could get two weeks off for a holiday, which he was paying for in the Caribbean.

“I thought he was trying to make up for the lies and deceit and being moody towards me,” she wrote in her statement. “I was going to give him a final chance.”

But the first night they arrived in the Dominican Republic, Mr Flack wanted to go out to a club, but Miss Telfer declined and went to bed, waiting for him to return. That set a pattern for the next 14 days of their holiday.

On the morning of their departure on February 16, Miss Telfer got up early and went to breakfast alone.

She brought a plate of food back to their Hotel Dorado room, left Mr Flack in the bathroom and went out to buy a skirt and other gifts.

“I returned to the room and Richard was out of the bathroom and appeared to be convulsing, he was on the floor by the window,” said Miss Telfer.

“The furniture had been knocked over and I moved some of it from around him and I was calling his name.”

She added the bellboy had then phoned wanting to know whether to collect their suitcases and she asked for a doctor to be called.

“Richard in this time recovered from the convulsion. I told him I had a doctor coming. I was frightened and upset and asked what happened,” said Miss Telfer.

“He said he had swallowed cocaine and that it had split. He said 'Don't you dare tell the doctor'. He was adamant that I should not say anything.”

The doctor arrived, took Mr Flack's blood pressure and said he needed to go to hospital.

Miss Telfer agreed, but Mr Flack refused and she told the doctor she would not fly with him in that condition.

The doctor left the room to talk to a tour representative and Miss Telfer said: “In this time Richard put a carrier bag, which was near the suitcase, under the bed. I just saw a plastic carrier bag, I did not see any drugs.

“Richard then said he felt unwell again and he began convulsing again. I was kneeling on the bed, shouting at him, shouting his name.

“I got off the bed to get the hotel door open so I could be heard. I did not know whether to run for a doctor or stay with him. It was all so quick. I gave mouth to mouth as best I could and heart massage.”

The doctor arrived, but Mr Flack had died. Miss Telfer called her sister, Catherine, in Colchester, but managed only to get through to her voicemail.

“I felt very alone, I was in a shocked and bewildered state,” she said. Later the police arrived and she added: “I was terrified at telling them what had happened. My boyfriend had died and the situation was very scary.”

After the police searched the room, Miss Telfer said she had been left alone with her boyfriend's body. “I lied next to him, holding him and said goodbye,” she wrote.

The following day, Miss Telfer was taken back to her hotel room by the police and she said: “They looked under a bed and pulled out a bag. They found drugs in the bag.

“They then searched my luggage, which had been kept at the hotel's office overnight. They did not find anything.”

Miss Telfer was taken to Puerto Plata police station before being moved to Santo Domingo prison.

In a final statement, she said: “If I had known what Richard's intentions were, I would never gone on holiday. If I had found out on holiday, I would have left him immediately.”

Her mother, Sheila, said last night: “If she'd known about those drugs in the room, if they were there, do you think she would've called the doctors so persistently?

“Wouldn't she have got rid of them when she had the chance? She knew nothing about it all. My girl is so desperately angry and upset.”

N A radio DJ is flying to the Caribbean today to comfort his close friend, Marianne Telfer.

Ipswich-based CSV Radio DJ and producer, Marcus Harris, is aiming to spend a week in the Dominican Republic visiting Miss Telfer in jail.

He will also be taking letters and gifts, including a shower curtain to cover the open barred window in her cell on rainy nights.

Mr Harris, 28, who met Miss Telfer four years ago through a mutual love of music, said: “She's a lovely outgoing girl with a heart of gold.

“She'd help anybody out - she doesn't deserve all this. She's a victim of circumstance. All her friends just want to do anything to keep her spirits up.”

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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