Father optimistic of drug charge appeal

THE father of Colchester care home manager said last nighthe was guardedly optimistic of seeing his daughter released from a West Indian jail.Roger Telfer was speaking as lawyers were this week launching a fresh bid to free his daughter Marianne, 28, from Ardleigh, who is being held in a jail in the Dominican Republic is accused of drug trafficking.

THE father of Colchester care home manager said last nighthe was guardedly optimistic of seeing his daughter released from a West Indian jail.

Roger Telfer was speaking as lawyers were this week launching a fresh bid to free his daughter Marianne, 28, from Ardleigh, who is being held in a jail in the Dominican Republic is accused of drug trafficking.

Miss Telfer who works at Acorn Village, Mistley, was arrested in the Dominican Republic at the end of a two-week holiday hours after her boyfriend collapsed and later died while attempting to smuggle cocaine hidden in his stomach in Febraury.

Richard Flack, 34, a landscape gardener, also of Colchester, swallowed 18 condoms filled with the drug and it is believed one or more them burst.


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Mr Telfer, 59, who has been campaigning along with Stephen Jakobi of Fair Trials Abroad, for the release of his daughter, said a hearing seeking her release would take place before three judges in the the capital Santo Domingo on Wednesday.

"It is yet another bid for her release," Mr Telfer said. "The defence will argue that there is no case to answer, the prosecution will of course say the opposite and three judges will take a view.'

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He said he was "guardedly optimistic' of a successful outcome but warned that they had been promised twice before that she would be released only to be disappointed.

"We have been here before and it hasn't happened. We are certainly not jumping to any conclusions.'

Mr Telfer, whose wife has been in the Dominican Republic since their daughter's arrest 10 weeks ago, said he was increasingly concerned about Miss Telfer's state of mind.

"As you can imagine for someone who is innocent, she is very, very indignant at being held in jail and is extremely worried that things aren't going to be resolved in her favour,' he said.

"I have noticed a change in her mood over the past few weeks. She knows she is being held there wrongly and she is getting more and more depressed.'

Miss Telfer, a former pupil of the Gilberd School, Colchester, insists that she did not know that Mr Flack had swallowed the condoms in a bid to smuggle the drugs into the UK. She is being held at a mixed prison in Puerto Plato awaiting trial and is allowed visits from her mother twice a week.

Mr Jakobi said that in a previous case a Briton was held for two years in a Dominican Republic jail before being released prior to his trial.

He said: "Her lawyers will argue that there is no case to answer. I am reasonably optimistic."

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