Banged up abroad: Three Brits reveal the reckless holiday antics that landed them in foreign JAILS – including a man who was beaten to a pulp by a gang of bikers after stealing €4,000 from a tattoo parlour for a ‘laugh’
- New 5Star series looked at British holidaymakers who end up in foreign jails
- Joey Farrell from Cardiff, Ezrah Feehan from London and Ricky Kingston from Nottingham share their tales in Young, Dumb and Banged up in the Sun
- Ricky Kingston, a lorry driver, stole €4,000 from a tattoo parlour on a night out
Three British tourists have told how dream holidays ended in disaster after their reckless behaviour landed them behind bars.
Joey Farrell from Cardiff, Ezrah Feehan from London and Ricky Kingston from Nottingham shared their cautionary tales in a new 5Star documentary series Young, Dumb and Banged up in the Sun.
All three men narrowly avoided lengthy jail terms, with lorry driver Ricky incurring the wrath of a gang of Hell’s Angels while personal trainer Joey was left so traumatised by his ordeal in a squalid Cancun prison cell he hasn’t been on holiday since.
Ezrah, an amateur boxer and bar owner, landed himself in hot water with the Thai authorities after outstaying his visa by nine months – and was forced to live in filthy conditions, sharing his cell with a 13 inmates and monkey with only a plastic bucket for a toilet.
Here, the three men – just some of the 5,500 British citizens arrested abroad each year – share their stories.
Banged up abroad: ‘Cheeky chappy’ Joey Farrell, from Cardiff, wound up in a Mexican jail after he claims his drink was deliberately spiked during a night out in Playa del Carmen. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ezrah Feehan, an amateur boxer from London, booked a one-way ticket to Thailand and stayed there for a year before authorities caught up with him because his visa had long expired. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ricky Kingston, from Nottingham, was told he faced two years in jail while he awaited trial for staling €4,000 from a tattoo parlour during a drunken night out in Malia, Crete. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
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Joey Farrell, personal trainer, Cardiff
Place arrested: Cancun, Mexico
Reason: Being drunk and disorderly
Joey Farrell, a self-confessed ‘wild child’ and ‘cheeky chappy’ saw his dream holiday spiral into a nightmare after a night on the tiles went horribly wrong.
The personal trainer and professional bodybuilder from Cardiff had treated his girlfriend to an all-inclusive holiday to Cancun, Mexico to make the most of its beautiful beaches, luxury hotels and wild partying in a bid to cheer her up after she grew tired of his bad behaviour.
‘Pretty much every holiday I’ve ever been on something bad happens to me – a scrape here, an arrest there, a bit of a hiding there… I thought I’d learned my lesson,’ Joey confessed.
A few nights in, Joey and his girlfriend booked tickets to nightlife hot spot Coco Bongo on popular party strip Playa del Carmen. It was there that their dream holiday quickly began to unravel.
Personal trainer Joey Farrell was having the holiday of a lifetime with his girlfriend in Cancun, Mexico and before it all went downhill they enjoyed a visit to a pirate ship (pictured). He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Joey Farrell enjoying his time in Mexico, just days before he was thrown in jail after allegedly having his drink spiked during a night out and waking up handcuffed and covered in blood. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Despite being warned by their hosts not to order their own drinks for ‘safety reasons’, Joey grew impatient with the service and left their designated seating area for bar.
He had already got through Disaronno and Coke mixers and had taken wads of cash out with him, which believes caught the attention of locals.
After ordering two drinks at the bar – which he didn’t see being poured – Joey began to feel unwell.
‘It was instant,’ Joey recalled. ‘I felt different… I’ve never felt anything like that before. I think I was spiked with something.’
Having lost all sense of judgement, an ‘uninhibited’ Joey vaguely recalls flirting with two women, followed by his girlfriend slapping him in a rage.
Shortly afterwards, he blacked out and awoke face down in a cell.
‘I was handcuffed, my wrists were bleeding from the tightness of the handcuffs,’ Joey said. ‘I realised I was in a cell, I couldn’t move properly, I was a bit cut up with grazes all down the side of my arms. You could smell p*** and i had no shoes.
‘I’d obviously been beaten up and to me, I was [being treated as if] I’d murdered someone, and all I’m thinking is where’s my girlfriend?
‘I thought, I’ve killed my girlfriend and I’m here in a cell for that reason, this is real, this is the worst thing that could ever happen.’
Distraught and alone, Joey was told he had just 36 hours to pay his 2,000 Peso (£82) bail and avoid being transferred to a local prison.
Joey Farrell had booked the holiday to Mexico to make it up to his girlfriend after she grew tired of his antics, but it ended in disaster when he woke in a cell believing he had killed her. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Reflecting on his time in a Mexican jail, Joey Farrell, from Cardiff, claimed that his ordeal was ‘the wake-up call that I probably needed’. He tells his story on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
‘I was shaking and i didn’t feel the tears ever stopping,’ he admitted. ‘I didn’t know what I had done and I didn’t know if I was ever getting out of this place. I knew time was ticking away to pay the bail.
Joey struck up a friendship with a man in the opposite cell, who advised him that he was most likely under a ‘false arrest’ and would be released as long as he produced enough cash for his bail.
He eventually called his hotel room and to his relief, his tearful girlfriend answered the phone – arriving to bail him out on charges of being ‘drunk and disorderly’ just before his 36 hours were up.
Penniless and shaken but otherwise unharmed, it is Joey’s belief that he was ‘set up’ by authorities, but maintains that his ordeal was ‘the wake-up call that I probably needed’.
Ezrah Feehan, amateur boxer, London
Place arrested: Koh Samui, Thailand
Reason: Immigration offences
Boxing enthusiast Ezrah Feehan booked a one-way flight to Thailand on a whim after watching a martial arts action movie that was set in the southeast Asian country.
Visitors in Thailand are permitted to stay a maximum of 90 days on a tourist visa, but by Ezrah’s own admission he quickly lost track of time.
Following a whirlwind romance, Ezrah married a local woman and the pair opened their own bar on the party isle of Koh Samui – with the intention to ‘sell cocktails and a little bit of weed’.
But the marriage soon unravelled as Ezrah’s new wife was prone to fits of jealousy and the pair had rows which he claims would often descend into violence.
Ezrah Feehan was apprehended by authorities in Thailand after overstaying his visa by nine months – and said his life became ‘miserable’ after he separated from his wife. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ezrah Feehan (pictured in his bar) married a local woman and the pair opened their own bar on the party isle of Koh Samui with the intention to ‘sell cocktails and a little bit of weed’. He reveals all on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
The bar owner’s life became a ‘living misery’ and he embarked on a six-month ‘bender’ before returning to Koh Samui to open a new drinking hole of his own.
Ezrah’s life was beginning to return to normality when, one morning, an immigration officer turned up and demanded to see his passport.
They quickly discovered he had overstayed his visa by nine months – a serious offence in Thailand, and one that meant he faced a lengthy jail term.
‘It dawned on me,’ Ezrah recalled. ‘Man, you might be in a bit of trouble here.’
He offered to pay the 20,000 baht (£470) fine to get off the hook, but instead he was thrown in a cell that ‘stank of stale sweat and bodies with 13 other people – and a monkey.
While he awaited deportation to the mainland, Ezrah claims he was fed a diet of rice and boiled cucumber, and became so enraged by the dinner lady’s behaviour towards fellow inmates that he ‘threw a bucket of s*** and p*** all over her’.
Originally from London, Ezrah Feehan enjoyed a whirlwind romance with a local woman (right, name not disclosed) and the pair married within weeks of meeting each other (pictured). He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ezrah Feehan (far left, with local friends he made during his time in Thailand) spent seven months in a Thai jail after being tracked down by an immigration officer in Koh Samui. He tells his story on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ezrah (pictured in Thailand before he was arrested) says his life was beginning to return to normality when, one morning, an immigration officer turned up and asked to see his passport. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Eventually he was transferred to Bangkok via ‘a cage on the back of a pickup truck’ and managed to log onto his Facebook account where he wrote a desperate plea to his loved ones back home: ‘This ain’t a joke, I’m in a Thai prison I need help’.
Finally, after seven months behind bars, friends and family managed to raise enough cash to get Ezrah out of prison and back on home soil.
And he has a word of warning to anyone thinking of joining the thousands of British expats in the southeast Asian country: ‘Be careful how you behave in Thailand because it can be quite a cold place. Life can be quite cheap, very cheap.’
The Foreign Office did not respond to enquiries but previously confirmed they had provided support to a British citizen arrested in Thailand in August 2013.
Ricky Kingston, lorry driver, Nottingham
Place arrested: Malia, Crete
Party boy Ricky feared for his life after he incurred the wrath of a gang of Hell’s Angels in moment of ‘drunken temptation’ during a lads’ holiday in Crete.
‘When I go out, I go out with a bang, I go completely mental,’ he admitted. ‘When it comes to night time, the idea is to get really, really drunk.’
During one particularly boozy night out on the Greek island, the lorry driver ran out of cash and nipped back to his hotel to get some more.
On his way back, by his own admission ‘staggering all over the place’, he wandered into a tattoo parlour on the party strip that appeared to be empty and sat down at the cashier’s desk.
Ricky Kingston, a lorry driver from Nottingham, landed himself in hot water when a night out descended into chaos. He ended up stealing €4,000 from a local man and recorded the whole thing on Snapchat (pictured) – just minutes before being beaten by a group of locals. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
‘I was basically just drunk, swinging around, having a laugh,’ Ricky recalled. ‘Just Snapchatting away.’
He spotted the owner had left himself logged onto Facebook on his computer, and posted ‘I like gay things’ from his account.
‘I was crying with laughter, I thought it was highly hilarious,’ Ricky called. Next, he opened the cash register and pocketed the €4,000 (£3,574) inside – just moments before the owner walked in and told him to leave.
Back in his hotel room and sobering up, the reality of Ricky’s situation dawned on him.
In a decision he now bitterly regrets, Ricky decided to head back out to the nightclub to ask his friends for advice – but ended up walking right past the tattoo parlour, by which point the owner – a Hell’s Angel biker – had already realised he had been robbed.
‘The fists came out of nowhere,’ said Ricky. ‘It was punch after punch after punch. He took his money back and he carried on hitting me [saying he wanted] another €1,000 (£894). He also took my spending money which was €700 (£626).’
Ricky Kingston, who stole €4,000 from a local man, filmed the whole thing on Snapchat (pictured) and admits he ‘was crying with laughter, I thought it was highly hilarious’. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ricky Kingston couldn’t help showing off after pocketing €4,000 (pictured) from the till of a tattoo parlour in Malia, Crete – but hours later he found himself in a local police cell. He appears on 5Star’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun this week
Ricky claims he was dragged up and down the strip, repeatedly being beaten up by locals, until eventually he was picked up by police, thrown into a cell and told that he would be locked up for up to two years while awaiting trial.
‘The nightmare couldn’t get any worse,’ Ricky said – but hours later, police told him he was being released because the tattoo artist wanted to ‘deal with him directly’.
Ricky claims he was forced into coughing up a further €1,300 (£1,162) as compensation for his attacker ‘hurting his shoulders’ while hitting him before finally being allowed to leave.
Reflecting on his ordeal, Ricky mused: ‘It was not worth it at all. Still now it affects me to this day. Personally I never want to go back to Malia.’
He added: ‘I cannot justify why I did what I did. It showed me not to be so loud and out there when I’m abroad on holiday. It’s a different world and culture out there I believe.’
Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun airs Wednesdays at 9pm on 5Star
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