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72 year old British / Australian detained in Dubai at “death’s door”


Fellow inmates have said they check his breath every morning to make sure he's still alive

A frail 72 year old retired great grandfather is a “pack of bones” after being ripped from a flight home to Australia to be reunited with his family after a year of being stranded in Africa during covid. The father of two, who is suffering from dementia, was desperate to get home to his family after so long away. The Australian government helped him get a flight but during a transit stop in Dubai, he was pulled from his plane and taken into custody. He has been in prison ever since that fateful day, May the 19th. Worse than that, cellmates check his breath every morning, certain “he won’t last”.


William Norman Meyerhoff, a locksmith from Grimsby Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire had no idea why he was taken into custody but assumed it must be some mistake. He worked in Dubai over a decade ago but never had any issues there. When authorities told him there were 38 criminal cases against him, he sank. “5 years and 3 months prison for you, AED 98,000 fine or if you can’t pay, extra 6 months in prison,” he was told. He was taken away in handcuffs to Dubai Central Prison where he was placed in a cell. “William is largely deaf and can not understand most of what is said to him, he finds it very hard to communicate”, said his distressed son Matthew who is now living in Perth.


“It seems that somehow, the Indian owners of Crystal Palace, put my dad down on the paperwork as a Director of the company but it was not his company and he wasn’t responsible for running it and he had no idea of the intricacies of the operation and didn’t even have access to the bank accounts. Now, he’s been convicted in absentia and sentenced to essentially a life in prison? He has been used as a scapegoat by those who actually owned the company and were responsible for it,” added Matthew.