Backpacker jailed in India to be returned to UK

But former City worker must still serve remainder of 10-year sentence for drugs possession charges

A 33-year old backpacker from Kent serving a 10-year sentence in one of India's most notorious prisons for a crime he says he didn't commit, has been given approval by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to serve the remainder of his sentence in the UK, The
IoS can exclusively reveal.

Patrick Malluzzo has spent six years in Rajasthan's Kota prison, sharing a cell with more than 50 other inmates and has suffered serious illness. His mother, Teresa Malluzzo, who hasn't seen her son for seven years, is hoping the British government will get him home as soon as possible.

"We are really pleased that the Indian government has decided to approve Patrick's transfer to the UK," she said. "It's not the happiest outcome because he will still have to spend time in prison, but what is important is to get Patrick home."

Malluzzo was arrested at Mumbai airport in 2004 and charged with possession of cannabis. In a trial that was conducted entirely in Hindi and which presented no DNA or fingerprint evidence linking him to the drugs, he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Fair Trials International, which has been working on the case since 2007, describes it as "a travesty – a grossly unfair trial in a language he could not understand".

The Malluzzos' nightmare began in October 2003 when Patrick, a former City worker from Dartford, set off on one last backpacking trip before settling down. In his bag he had an engagement ring for his girlfriend whom he planned to meet in Thailand.

On his travels he met another backpacker, James (not his real name), and they talked about going to Goa together. Although it wasn't a concrete plan, James booked train tickets for them both. Malluzzo then decided to stay in Rajasthan a few days longer and agreed to meet up with James in Goa. As he wanted to travel light, he asked James to take a small bag of his clothing and various other items with him on the train. James agreed and the two went their separate ways.

Shortly after, Malluzzo got a call from James saying he had accidentally left the bag on the train. Subsequently, his bag, along with another containing 19kg of cannabis resin, was found under the seat booked in his name and handed in to the police. He was arrested two months later as he attempted to leave India for Thailand. Three months on, his mother got a call from the Foreign Office to say he had been arrested.

Malluzzo was first in the custody of Mumbai police, but was then transferred to the Kota Railway police and taken back to Rajasthan. During this time he reports being severely tortured: beaten, stripped and shackled to a chair while cigarettes were used to burn him, and pliers were used on his genitals. He was also forced to sign confessions written in Hindi.

During the first year of his incarceration his family had no way of contacting their son except by letter. "He was writing to us saying get me out of here. It was a cry for help but we had no idea how to," Mrs Malluzzo said.

Then he met a priest in prison called Pastor Samuel. "He had nothing and Patrick shared his Bible and a couple of tomatoes with him," his mother said. "Samuel made him the promise that he would see him through and he's never let him down. Every 10 days or so, he makes a 16-hour round trip to visit Patrick and bring him supplies. He's been Patrick's life support for the past six years."

After Malluzzo's conviction, his lawyers lodged an appeal. It took four years to get to Rajasthan High Court. Summing up, the judge said it was not relevant the trial had been held in a language he didn't understand and the fact that he had never been in possession of the drugs was "devoid of merit". To the Malluzzos' horror, in February this year the conviction was upheld. "It absolutely floored us," Mrs Malluzzo said. With Patrick's health a serious issue – he suffers from malaria, dysentery, rat bites, depression, prostatitis and urinary dysfunction – the decision was made to give up the fight for justice and focus on getting him home.

Although Mrs Malluzzo has never visited her son, his father, Salvatore, has been six times. "Patrick didn't want me to go there and, as a mother, I think if I had gone I don't think I could ever have walked away," she says. Also, finances won't allow her to go. Last year they were forced to put their house on the market.

With approval finally granted for her son's transfer to the UK, Mrs Malluzzo is now daring to start thinking of his homecoming. "He is a different man to the one who left all those years ago," she says.

According to Jago Russell of Fair Trials International: "It is a travesty that this young man will come home with a guilty conviction. But he and his family have been through a horrendous ordeal and, after visiting him in Kota jail, it is easy to understand why he feels he can take no more."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker