British football coach's appeal against his 25 year jail term in Dubai delayed ...

British football coach's appeal against his 25 year jail term in Dubai delayed ...
British football coach's appeal against his 25 year jail term in Dubai delayed ...

A British football coach who was handed a 25-year jail term in Dubai for possessing cannabis oil has had his appeal hearing delayed by six weeks, it was revealed today.

Billy Hood, 24, was arrested in January and convicted by a court of drug trafficking with intent to supply - despite being able to prove the vape liquid belonged to a visiting friend who had mistakenly left it in his car. 

An appeal was set to be heard in Dubai today, but Radha Stirling, CEO of pressure group Detained in Dubai - an organisation that helps foreign nationals arrested in the emirate - said today that the hearing has been delayed to November 30.

British football coach Billy Hood, 24, from London, (pictured) has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after four small bottles of vape liquid containing cannabis oil were found in his car

British football coach Billy Hood, 24, from London, (pictured) has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after four small bottles of vape liquid containing cannabis oil were found in his car

Speaking on the group's podcast, Ms Stirling said that the lawyers representing Mr Hood in Dubai attended court today 'and were told to come back in six weeks, on the 30th of November.'

She added that the lawyers advised her that the date can change and that the 'judicial process is rather random and unpredictable in the UAE'.

'However, what this does show is that the UAE is likely to keep Billy in custody for another six weeks,' Ms Stirling said.

'Billy has already spent a horrendous nine months in a Dubai jail notorious for human rights violations after being forced to confess to serious crimes in Arabic. 

'Adding yet another delay to his freedom and the review of his defence evidence is gutting to the family and to Billy. Every day an innocent man spends a day in prison is a travesty,' she said. 

Hood, who played semi-professional football for Kensington and Ealing Borough FC, was stunned when police unexpectedly turned up at his flat in January and demanded to search his home and company car.

An appeal for Hood's case was set to be heard in Dubai today, but Radha Stirling (pictured), CEO of Detained in Dubai - an organisation that helps foreign nationals arrested in the emirate - said today that the hearing has been delayed to November 30

An appeal for Hood's case was set to be heard in Dubai today, but Radha Stirling (pictured), CEO of Detained in Dubai - an organisation that helps foreign nationals arrested in the emirate - said today that the hearing has been delayed to November 30

Four small vials of vape liquid containing cannabis oil (CBD) and a vape pen were later found in the passenger door compartment. 

Detained in Dubai and Ms Stirling have claimed that the court has documents that prove Dubai police have 'basically manufactured a case against Billy,' and are calling on increased travel warning to be in place for British nationals visiting the UAE.

'The prosecution evidence that Billy was 'selling drugs' relies solely on Billy having £4,000 cash in his apartment and they are fully aware this was money paid by his employer for his coaching job,' she explained. 

In regards to the allegation of posession, she said 'social media communications confirm that the bottles were not Billy's, did not belong to him and that he had no interest or desire to have them in his possession'. 

'Billy should not be punished for the mistakes of his friend,' she added. 'It is appalling that the police charged him with selling drugs and even more appalling that the Judge accepted it.' 

Pointing to other cases involving British nationals - Albert Douglas who has also been locked up for nine months, and Lee Bradley Brown who was killed in police custody in 2011 - the group has called on Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FDCO) to take action against the emirate.

'The families have also appealed to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum to review the evidence and help these men get home to their families' Ms Stirling added.

Mr Hood's best friend Alfie Cain, 24, claimed last week that Hood told him he was beaten, slapped, and only given bread and small amounts of water while at the Al-Barsha prison by police officers. 

Billy Hood's best friend Alfie Cain, 24, (pictured) has claimed Hood told him he was beaten, slapped, and only given bread and small amounts of water while at the Al-Barsha jail by police officers

Billy Hood's best friend

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