BRIT’S HELL IN TURKISH I was forced to fight for my life with a 17st beast called The Executioner
A BRIT banged up in a Turkish jail today tells how he was forced to fight for his life against an inmate who looked like “Satan in a T-shirt”.
Married dad-of-five Toby Robyns was shoved into a locked room to take part in a Gladiatorstyle bout with a hulking mobster dubbed The Executioner.
Toby, who was held after being accused of smuggling precious coins, also tells how he:
Was imprisoned with Islamic State terrorists who said the jail was worse than Guantanamo Bay.
Feared for his life among lags who spent their time screaming and crying late into the night.
Lost 2st during the harrowing 45-day ordeal.
Woke in horror to find a fellow lag hanging from his bed.
Bribed guards with cigarettes so they would return his wedding ring and watch.
Now safely home in Southwick, near Shoreham, West Sussex, ambulance driver Toby says he is haunted by his ordeal.
He says: “One morning I was escorted out by guards and pushed into a small room.
“There were no cameras and they locked the door. A prisoner who they called The Executioner was standing in the corner.
“He had arranged a fight to the death Gladiator-style because I had sung God Save the Queen over his shouting one night.
“He was part of the Georgian mafia and had shot a policeman in the head.”
Toby is no lightweight himself but feared he had “no chance” against the prisoner, who was over 6ft and pushing 17st. But his survival instinct kicked in.
“He was huge,” Toby says. “He looked like Satan in a T-shirt. I turned round to try to get out and he punched me in the head.
“That’s when I took my top off. I gestured for him to do the same.
“But as he was pulling it over his head, I punched him and kicked him in the groin.
“It was either him or me. I just remember the guards pulling me off and I saw a heap lying there, covered in blood. My hands were swollen and bruised.
“I’ve never had a fight before. A red mist just descended and all I could think of was my family.”
Toby’s arrest in August – as he and his family prepared to fly home – made global headlines.
His GP receptionist wife Heidi, 43, and five kids were distraught and feared they would never see him again. Toby, 53, was held after airport staff in Bodrum said 13 coins he and his sons had found snorkelling were historical artefacts and should have been declared to authorities. Toby’s sons Baxter, eight, and Brody, 10, found the coins. Toby goes on: “They were a memento – nothing special. I put the coins in a clear plastic bag and went through security. “Next thing I knew there were police waving guns and I was slapped in handcuffs. I said to my wife I’ll be back in a minute – knowing full well I wasn’t coming back.” He was taken to court the next day, accused of smuggling and sent to high-security Mugla Penitentiary.
Toby, who also has three grown-up kids by a former partner, says: “It was the craziest place ever. I was searched and stripped. All I had was a T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and a mattress.
“My cell was 20 metres long, two-and-a-half wide, metal beds, no blanket, no sheets or pillows.
“I lay awake all night. No one spoke English or Turkish. It was a foreign cell. People were praying all night, screaming and crying.
“The shower was a Pepsi bottle with holes in it and there was hot water for an hour twice a week.
“I didn’t have a toothbrush, there was no drinking water – you have to buy everything, even rubbish bags and electricity. I had no money when I arrived so I couldn’t buy anything for 10 days.” When he finally got cash, Toby bought cigarettes so he could barter with guards.
He explains: “I used to get 40 cigarettes a week. I’d have a few but used the rest for bribes. I got my wedding ring back for five and my watch back for 10.
“The food was terrible. Soup, plain beans or chickpeas and a chicken drumstick once a week.
“Sometimes we got goat meatballs which you had to force down, or half a boiled egg.
“They would put on Turkish pop songs all afternoon. At night they’d show us films like Batman – all in Turkish, on a 1980s TV.
“Prisoners would fight all day every day. They would charge at you and hit you over the head with prison-issue flip flops.
“There was a bully I called Vlad
RELIEF Toby and wife Heidi, who saw his arrest