Free at last

CARE home manager Marianne Telfer last nightgave her first public account of her Caribbean nightmare hours after stepping out of prison a free woman.Just after 7.

CARE home manager Marianne Telfer last nightgave her first public account of her Caribbean nightmare hours after stepping out of prison a free woman.

Just after 7.30pm UK time, the 28-year-old from Ardleigh was escorted by her lawyer, up the driveway of the Dominican Republic prison towards the exit.

The first thing the lawyer had said to her when he was engaged in mid-April was: "We shall walk to freedom together." Last night they did.

Cheered on her way by other in-mates she was greeted by her emotional parents, Roger and Sheila. They embraced and kissed their family nightmare was finally over.

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Marianne from her parents hotel she told EADT: "I have been looking forward to this moment for so long, in some ways it hasn't really sunk in.

"I could see mum and dad at the end of the prison driveway with flowers waiting. I grabbed hold of them and kissed and hugged them, I am so overjoyed."

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Miss Telfer had spent more than 100 days inside the Puerto Plata prison. She had been charged with drug trafficking at the end of a fortnight's holiday with her boyfriend and recovering heroin addict Richard Slack, 34,

He died after swallowing bags of cocaine in February. After months of waiting her appeal against the charges was ruled successful by a panel of five judges on Wednesday.

Marianne said: "I have been having nightmares the last couple of nights since the court hearing – I just thought something else would go wrong. I packed all my stuff and gave my sheets away but I thought that was just tempting fete."

She said it some ways it was sad as she had made friends with a lot of people in the Forteleza San Felipe.

"I just want them to get out too – everyone misses their families", she declared.

Marianne said she was aware of the coverage of her case in the United Kingdom and singled out the EADT for special praise.

"I have heard they have been the best - you've been tremendous. A lot of it has kept me going.

"I have had a couple of beers since I left the prison and I have spotted the hotel pool - it's very tempting. I am also dying for a bath or hot shower, a nice meal and a glass of red wine - I have not had once since February. Reflecting on the actions of her boyfriend, a landscape gardener, she said: "He's lost his life and its tragic. I am sure he wouldn't have wanted to put me in this position. I just feel for his family, it's terrible.

"I am not bitter or angry," she added, "I am just glad my nightmare is over."

The Telfers will now be looking for the first available flight home and hope to be back in the United Kingdom to celebrate early next week.

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