Family's desperate efforts to get Stockport veteran home from UAE prison

The sister of a war veteran who was arrested after a psychotic episode in Abu Dhabi says she's petrified he won't survive if he's sent to prison.

Steve Long, from Stockport was on holiday in Abu Dhabi in January, visiting a friend.

His family say there was a drone-strike while he was there and this seems to have triggered something with his mental health.

He previously worked with bomb-disposal teams in the army. Steve was arrested at the airport after he told staff he was scared there was a bomb on the plane.

Steve Long

Steve is currently being held under guard in hospital. A judge fined him 500,000 UAED (£103,000). If he can't pay, he'll be sent to prison to serve his sentence.

The family appealed the verdict but it was rejected, despite two medical reports saying Steve lacked capacity at the time and is not responsible for his actions.

Radha Stirling from Detained in Dubai is helping Steve's family.

Steve's family say they can't risk him going to prison. They say the British Embassy have confirmed that his mental health treatment will stop if he is transferred there.

And they say he nearly died from three days in police custody and ended up with kidney problems.

Steve's family are now trying to fundraise the £100,000 they need to pay off his fine so he can come home.

A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said “We are providing consular assistance to a British National in Abu Dhabi and are in contact with the local authorities.”

The UAE Ministry of Interior is yet to provide a comment.