‘Living hell’ for pregnant Scottish woman in prison in Tenerife for not paying a fine
A 32-year-old Scottish woman has hit the UK press telling how she was arrested when she arrived in Tenerife on August 19th after she flew in to join her father and brother for a family holiday. She was detained because she left Spain last year without paying a 420 euro fine after being charged for drunken behaviour in Malaga.
After her name flagged up at passport control at Tenerife South airport, she was taken to a police station and then transferred to a prison. She said that she had 400 euros in her bag in case it came up, and offered to pay the fine but was told she would have to go to court, where a judge said under Spanish law it was too late to pay the fine and that she would have to serve four months in prison.
Jamielee Fielding, who is diabetic and nearly seven months pregnant, said: “I had gone to Malaga to identify my mother’s body because she had died whilst on holiday there. They gave me two tickets in a drunken state for a value of 420 euros that, it is true, I did not pay, I had just lost my mother I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.”
However, she now says that she is worried for her own health and that of her baby, and can’t bear the thought of her daughter being born whilst she is in jail.
She said: "She's due on 28th November and I've pretty much been told to prepare to have her here. I will need to have her here because there's no way of reducing the sentence. I'll need to complete the full four months which will take me up to 16th December.”
Speaking from a hotel room while on weekend release from prison, she told the BBC: "All I want is to be back home in a Scottish hospital with my family around me to have a safe birth and make sure she is healthy. I'm looking for a miracle because right now it doesn't look like there's any way I can get back."
Her case has been raised in the House of Commons by Livingston SNP MP Hannah Bardell, who has asked for a debate on the treatment of British citizens in Spanish prisons. She said: “the Spanish authorities in Tenerife are holding her, removing vital food and medication, and breaching her human rights. She has a very short window to get home to have her baby.”
Ms. Fielding says that she spent the first six weeks of her sentence in a maximum security prison which she described as "a living hell”, where the toilet was a hole in the ground and she was given a piece of foam to sleep on. She has now been moved to an open prison where she is allowed weekend release.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are providing consular assistance to a British woman detained in Tenerife."
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