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After a sentence appeal Briton Lance Witmore, 28 is facing 50 years in a Thai jail after being found guilty of drug dealing. The ex-soldier from Bromsgrove pleaded guilty to his charges, but hoped for a lighter sentence at a joint appeal on Tuesday with Australian Jake Mastronianni, 26 who was sentenced to two life sentences after being found guilty on a not-guilty plea. Witmore and Mastronianni, from Melbourne Victoria now have the option to now take the case to the Supreme Court but have opted against this option as it would delay possible transfers to prisons in the UK and Australia.
Under Thai Law Whitmore will be able to start the process of repatriation to a UK prison in 23 months once he has served four years, although there is no guarantee. Mastroianni, due to his harsher sentence, can apply to be transferred to Australia in Six years, having got double the sentence of the Brit who pleaded guilty.
Whitmore, who works for a petroleum company was caught with 200 ecstasy pills in August 2014 in Pattaya where his father lives. Mastronianni was caught with 61. Legal consultant to Mastroianni said that he would have received a far lighter sentence if he had put in a guilty plea but his lawyers advised him not to.
At the Tuesday hearing the court decided the pair would not have to pay the 3.3 million baht in fines.
The hapless duo are serving their sentences in Klong Prem high security prison, notorious for poor conditions, small cells and overcrowding. Whitmore’s family have made their devastation at the news of no reduction in sentence known on social media sites. His mother said “It’s been 2 years now and I would love to wake up and not feel the pain and anxious feeling inside of me every day and try to keep myself sane for Lance who is my everything.”