Briton 'was in Iraq by accident'

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The Independent Online
The wife of Paul Ride, the catering manager from Walthamstow, north-east London, who has been jailed for seven years in Iraq, has received two letters from her husband, in one of which he discloses that he accidentally strayed across the border in a sandstorm.

The letters, both smuggled out of Iraq through Turkey, are the first personal messages Julie Ride has received direct from her 33-year-old husband, who vanished on 28 June while working in Kuwait. On 20 August, he was sentenced on a charge of illegal entry into Iraq.

But in one letter he wrote that he was visiting a friend near the Kuwaiti border with Iraq when he became trapped in a sandstorm. By the time the storm cleared and Mr Ride realised he had strayed into Iraqi border territory, he had been arrested by soldiers.

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