Football Coach, 24, Jailed In Dubai For 25 Years Following CBD Vape Conviction
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A British football coach has been jailed for 25 years in Dubai after police found CBD oil and a vape pen in his car.
Billy Hood, from London, said he didn't have a clue that the oils and pen were in his car, claiming they had been left by a friend who he'd given a lift to two weeks earlier.
The 24-year-old said he was forced to confess to a false statement written in Arabic by detectives.
According to reports, Billy was with a friend on 31 January when cops pointed a taser in his face as he went to his car to grab a phone charger.
He was then handcuffed and threatened with the taser if he didn't do as he was told.
Officers then confiscated the oils and pen from his vehicle.
In a statement via his lawyers after having been detained in Dubai, Billy said officers 'jumped him'.
He said: "I had just moved to a new home in Dubai and a friend of mine came around to see my new place.
"I ordered a food delivery then went to my car to get a second phone charger for him to use when I was suddenly approached by police.
"They jumped out to arrest me, handcuffed me. One officer jumped out and pointed a taser at me, threatening to use it if I didn't cooperate.
"They demanded I show them where the drugs are. I was shocked, scared and confused.
"I told them I wasn't aware or in possession of any drugs or substances. They wanted to search my car then my apartment and found nothing.
"The next evening, I was taken to Al Barsha police station and kept in an isolation cell for 14 days without any hygiene products. I had no contact with the outside world."
Following his arrest, Billy was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of trafficking, supplying and possession.
Billy said he admitted the charges following four days of pressure from officers.
However, when asked initially if the oils and vape pen were his, Billy, who used to play for semi-pro Kensington and Ealing Borough FC, reportedly told detectives: "To my knowledge, it is normal vape oil."
In his statement, Billy said he is 'wholeheartedly against' drugs, explaining: "I do not smoke vape pens, cigarettes or even shisha.
"I coach football six to seven days a week. I am always working with kids and in schools all over Dubai.
"From age 16, I played football at a professional level for more than two years. I have always had a zero tolerance on any drugs or illegal substances.
"For me to be accused of promoting and selling drugs in a country that has the same beliefs and values as me is very upsetting as it affects my future."
He added: "One of the main reasons I moved to the UAE was to pursue my coaching career. I have spent six-plus years collecting my coaching badges and would never let something such as drugs ruin everything."
Billy's mum Breda said she couldn't imagine life without her son.
The 55-year-old said: "If he doesn't win his appeal, we will never be the same. We will have lost our beloved Billy.
"I have hidden myself away, crying and crying when I imagine what our sweet boy is going through.
"It is the worst stress I've ever been through and I feel helpless. He's always been such a good boy and has never been troublesome.
A spokesperson for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office told the Sun: "We are giving consular support to a British man who has been imprisoned in the UAE."