Fund Daniel Holmes
Daniel Holmes is a loving and generous man from South Wales who is part of a very close family. In 2004, he decided to combine his love of diving and career as a chef by moving to Malta. Like many people he enjoyed relaxing with friends after work, smoking cannabis and playing video games. He and one of his friends started growing a small amount of cannabis for personal use, to avoid being involved with drug dealers.
He was arrested in Malta in July 2006, charged with cultivating cannabis and forced to stay in Malta awaiting trial. Over the next five years, whilst on bail awaiting trial, he stopped smoking cannabis and became the head chef in a popular diner. It was there he met his future wife; they fell in love and had a daughter together. When their daughter was only three months old Daniel attended a routine court appearance. This time however it was far from routine. Without notice he was taken into custody and denied the chance to call his wife to say he would not be coming home.
He was sentenced to over ten years in prison and fined €23,000.
This is considered an exceedingly harsh and unfair sentence, both locally and internationally, when compared to the sentences given to Maltese people for similar offences. One of the most glaringly unfair aspects of Daniel's case is that the prosecution weighed the entire plants, including the roots and stems as part of their evidence, even though only the leaves and buds should have been weighed. In addition to this, even though the plants belonged to Daniel and his friend, the court attributed the entire weight to Daniel as his friend had committed suicide in prison during his time awaiting trial.
Despite a number of protests in Malta calling for Daniel's release, his appeals have been unsuccessful.
Daniel has now spent almost four years in prison away from his family, missing his daughter's formative years. This stressful ordeal has taken its toll not only on Daniel but also on his family. His wife was left with no choice but to move back to the UK after almost a year, as without Daniel to provide for them she was unable to make ends meet while raising their daughter. His father recently suffered a stroke on his return to the UK from Malta and is now unable to travel to visit Daniel.
Since his conviction, many countries have decriminalised cultivation for personal use. In light of this rapid change in global attitude towards cannabis Daniel is requesting that the Maltese President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca reconsider his sentence.
Daniel has never denied growing the plants but after almost ten years detained in Malta, four of them in prison, he has arguably been punished more than anyone in similar circumstances. He now just wants to be able to move on with his life.
Daniel is required to pay a fine of €23,000 and the current bill for his lawyers and court costs is around€40,000.
We are appealing to you to help us raise the funds to pay Daniel's fines and legal fees so Daniel can apply for a transfer to a UK prison to be nearer to his family.
I feel for Daniel and the whole family on this , its absolutely disgusting for locking someone up for growing a f'kin plant! A plant that provides me & millions of others with medical relief in various ways. A plant that never should have been illegal in the first place, "i say , How dare they!" #spreadtruth #endprohibition #freedanielholmes
When, in the latest update, the organizers of this venture say "Please don't be put off by thinking that you can't contribute enough to make a difference, all the little amounts add up!", not only that but, it is the regular positive encouragement that gives Daniel daily strength to maintain an optimistic faith.
@Peter Reynolds. Any chance you could put something on the CLEAR UK Facebook page or website about this please? Danny is a friend of mine it would be great if you could use your following to help, I have added a banner to my blog.
@Peter Reynolds. Thanks for your interest Peter. I'm Daniel's Dad. There were 5 mature plants and 27 potted but, as yet un-rooted, cuttings, in the hope that they could maintain their small supply for the two of them. He knew that many cuttings would fail and 50% of the rest would be male and, therefore, useless.
How many plants?