Billy Hood: Briton Jailed in Dubai for Possession of CBD Vape Oil Reduced Sentence from 25 to 10 Years – Despite New Laws Allowing Deportation

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Billy Hood: Briton Jailed in Dubai for Possession of CBD Vape Oil Reduced Sentence from 25 to 10 Years – Despite New Laws Allowing Deportation


A British football coach who was jailed for 25 years in Dubai for possession of CBD vape oil has had his sentence reduced to 10 years on appeal.

It comes after the United Arab Emirates recently said he would introduce new laws, meaning that foreigners found in possession of products containing THC, the main intoxicating chemical in cannabis, can be deported rather than jailed as long as it is their first offense.

Billy Hood, 25, from Kensington, London, was working as a football coach in the United Arab Emirates when police discovered four small bottles of cannabis-derived CBD oil and a vape pen in his car and arrested him on the 31st. January.

He was convicted of drug trafficking with the intention of providing by a court and has been detained since.

CBD oil, which is derived from cannabis, is legal in the UK, but because it sometimes contains trace elements of THC, it is not tolerated under the Arab Emirates’ strict drug laws. United.

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Billy Hood was originally sentenced to 25 years in prison

Mr Hood says the bottles and vape pen were left in his car by a friend he drove to the airport two weeks before his arrest, and was forced to sign a confession written in Arabic after having been detained in appalling conditions for four days. .

He says he was denied a translator and told he would not be released from his cell, where he was detained with 30 other men and given only bread and bread. ‘water, unless he signs the document.

Learn more about the United Arab Emirates

On Tuesday, her mother, Breda Guckion, said she felt “broken” by the latest court ruling, adding: “It is very confusing. How could it get so far worse?

“I tried not to hope too much today because I knew something like this could happen, but now I have to face the possibility that I won’t be able to see my son before Christmas and I can’t tell you how broken I feel. “

Campaign group Detained in Dubai, which is pushing for the Briton’s release, said: “Abu Dhabi courts accept that Billy Hood did not traffic or sell the CBD vape oil left in his car by a visiting friend.

“They accept that he ‘unintentionally possessed’ CBD but sentenced him to 10 years in prison, despite new legislation eliminating prison sentences for foreigners found in possession and allowing deportation. “

Radha Stirling, Managing Director of Detained in Dubai, said: “The UAE has just said it will lift prison sentences for foreigners found in possession of THC products, opting for deportation instead, but this law will not come into force until January 2022 and may not apply retroactively.

She added: “The Dubai Police were extremely negligent when they accused Billy Hood of trafficking and selling the mini-bottles of CBD vape oil found in his car.

“They turned what would have been a small possession case at worst into a federal case that saw him locked up for almost a year and sentenced to life in Abu Dhabi.

“There was no evidence of trafficking or sales. Dubai’s overzealous pursuits ruined this young man’s life and brought him and his family through hell.

“Billy was forced to confess to federal crimes with promises of his impending release. He was given both a carrot and a stick, so that a prosecutor could get his due. It’s too familiar a story. “

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Mr. Hood’s mother Breda Guckion (pictured with Billy’s brother Alex) says she feels ‘broken’

A clemency request was filed by the Foreign Office for the release of Billy and a petition set up by the family attracted nearly 160,000 signatures.

“We pray every day for Billy’s release,” said Billy’s brother Alexander.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said: “We are providing consular support to a Briton who has been imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates. We are in contact with his family in the UK. “

Earlier this year, the UAE government said: “The Drug Control Directorate (GDDC) has been informed that Mr. Billy Hood possesses quantities of synthetic cannabis oil with the intention of selling them.

“As a result, Mr. Hood was apprehended on February 2, 2021 and subsequently charged with drug trafficking, following a search of the vehicle he was driving.

“Mr. Hood was in possession of quantities of synthetic cannabis oil, scientifically known as ‘MDMB-4en-PINACA’.

“The police search of Mr. Hood’s vehicle found cannabis oil, large sums of money, an electronic hookah, various storage bottles and cans and 570 individual cartridges to be used for vaping substances.

“Mr. Hood was convicted on the basis of evidence, including items found in his possession, information on his phone, a third party statement and his own confession. “

He added that Mr Hood had access to an interpreter at all times, that his decision was made in accordance with UAE law and that the substance in question had no therapeutic use.

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