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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.