BANGKOK-British National Lance Whitmore has been sentenced to 50 years in prison by the Ratchada Criminal Court, Whitmore entered a guilty plea hoping it would get his sentence halved.
Whitmore was arrested earlier this year after he and an Australian friend were nabbed in the coastal resort of Pattaya ten months ago with 200 ecstasy pills in their possession.
The pair spent three days manacled at a ‘safe house’ before being sent to the notorious Klong Prem Central Prison in Bangkok.
He was arrested just months after his fiancée Jitma Tahin, 25, died of meningitis, his family and friends claim his grief tipped him into carrying the drugs for his friend.
His heartbroken mother, Debbie Caswell, said: “I am devastated. I don’t know how he will cope.”
Mrs Caswell said: “I got the call this morning from his lawyer. I am just devastated – I am finding it hard to function at the moment.
“I believe we will be appealing but at this moment in time I am just in shock.
“I just don’t know how he will cope with this sentence. It is the worst possible news.”
His mom had previously described how he was covered in sores, pale and pitifully thin and crippled by tooth decay.
The former squaddie now faces sharing a cramped, furnace-hot cell – designed to accommodate 20 people – with 78 other other prisoners. He has already witnessed two stabbings and an attempted rape.
A cellmate has also had his ear bitten off in a brutal attack.
His father Russ, originally from Northfield, runs a restaurant in Pattaya, near Bangkok.
Whitmore, who found work in Thailand with Petroleum Oil Services, was snared in a Pattaya supermarket only yards from his dad’s restaurant.
Whitmore had returned to Thailand in March, 2014, following the death of his 25-year-old fiance Jitma Tahin, known as Tree, from meningitis. He had lived there, off and on for five years.
Lance’s mum Debbie Caswell, 51 said: ‘He has done wrong, but there is a reason he got mixed up in all that, everything that was going on.’
His family, who have spent thousands on legal fees and are now asking for donations to fund their appeal against Lance’s sentence, claim that evidence used in Lance’s trial had been tampered with and that he has been denied his basic human rights.