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A British semi-pro footballer and coach has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Dubai after police discovered CBD oil in his car.

Billy Hood, 24, was arrested on January 31 outside his home when he went to pick up a phone charger from his car.

The police told him they were interested in him from social media but never asked for his phone or his computer.

In a statement to lawyers, he said: "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."

Hood was sure they had the wrong man and cooperated with the officers, allowing them to search his property and body.

They found a few thousand pounds in cash in his flat and asked why he had it, to which he explained that his new employer paid him in cash while his bank account was being set up, a point that was confirmed by the employer and stated in Hood's contract.

Officers demanded to search his company car, where they found four small bottles of vape oil and a vape pen in the passenger area.

The 24-year-old explained that he was unaware of its presence and that his friend must have left it there on the way to the airport, when he came to visit from England a few weeks ago.

The Brit was taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) where he underwent a urine test, which came back negative.

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He was asked to explain the contents of the vape bottles, to which he said, "To my knowledge, it is normal vape oil."

The cops then asked Hood to sign a document in Arabic and threatened him that he wouldn't leave the CID unless he signed it, despite not providing him a British translation.

The footballer refused to sign the document and was sent to a holding cell, before asking to speak to the arresting officer on the fourth day.

He succumbed to the pressure and agreed to sign the document in Arabic, not knowing its content.

A week later Hood was told he was facing a second prosecution and said: "I do not smoke vape pens, cigarettes or even shisha."

The athlete was stunned that he was being accused of something which he is passionately against.

He said: "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."

Billy's brother Alexander said: "It’s been difficult to cope with Billy’s ongoing detention and the idea that he could be in a UAE prison until he’s 50.

"Our mother, Breda, is beside herself. It’s just not something anyone envisions happening to their own family. How could we? Billy is a healthy, fitness focussed guy. Unlike other kids, mum never had to worry about him getting into drugs or smoking. We never thought for a moment that going to Dubai could be a one way ticket for him.

"It’s one thing if you’ve done something wrong but a whole other story when your life is being ruined as though you’re a criminal when you’re not”.

His mother Breda said: "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. He helps out children, coaches and volunteers. He's never been into drugs, ever. It is impossible that he is guilty of the allegations against him."

The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help Billy with his legal fees, looking to appeal the conviction. It has raised more than £11,000 since it was set up in February.

His brother added: "If he doesn't win his appeal, we will never be the same."

The Daily Star has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.

  • Dubai
  • Drugs
  • Cannabis
  • Police
  • Crime

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