News | World News | Man, 68, is thrown in Spanish jail for a WEEK after police mistook him for an on-the-run drug lord

Man, 68, is thrown in Spanish jail for a WEEK after police mistook him for an on-the-run drug lord

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Innocent British great-grandfather, 68, is thrown in Spanish jail for a WEEK during a family holiday after bungling local police mistook him for an on-the-run drug lord

  • Eddie Gossage, 68, was locked up in a Spanish jail for eight days last month
  • Police were convinced Mr Gossage, from Kirkby, Merseyside, was a drug lord
  • They confused him with Michael Phillips, who escaped from a UK jail in 2013
  • Mr Gossage is demanding to know who is responsible for the blunder 

By Khaleda Rahman For Mailonline

Published: 21:04 EST, 7 November 2018 | Updated: 21:30 EST, 7 November 2018

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A British great-grandfather revealed he was locked up in a Spanish jail for eight days because police mistook him for a drug lord.

Eddie Gossage, 68, from Kirkby, Merseyside, said was stopped by border police at Palma airport in Majorca when he and his wife Brenda, 70, arrived for a holiday last month.

After being questioned, the couple were allowed to travel to their hotel in Magaluf, The Mirror reports.

British great-grandfather Eddie Gossage, pictured, was mistaken for fugitive Michael Phillips
British great-grandfather Eddie Gossage, pictured, was mistaken for fugitive Michael Phillips
Spanish police mistook a British great-grandfather for fugitive Michael Phillips (pictured)
Spanish police mistook a British great-grandfather for fugitive Michael Phillips (pictured)

British great-grandfather Eddie Gossage, left, was mistaken for fugitive Michael Phillips, right

But the following morning, the railway worker was handcuffed in his hotel room and hauled off to prison.

'My wife was very upset, she was screaming and shouting. I was saying, 'what is happening?' Mr Gossage said.

Police were convinced he was Michael David Phillips, who escaped from Hatfield jail in South Yorkshire in 2013.

He absconded during a temporary release having served seven years of a 16-year sentence for supplying heroin.

While on the run, the 63-year-old fugitive stole Mr Gossage's identity and used him as an alias, according to the Mirror.

Mr Gossage, 68, was locked up at Palma Prison on Majorca (pictured) for a week
Mr Gossage, 68, was locked up at Palma Prison on Majorca (pictured) for a week

Mr Gossage, 68, was locked up at Palma Prison on Majorca (pictured) for a week

So Mr Gossage ended up being taken to a police station, where officers photographed and fingerprinted him.

In court the following morning, Mr Gossage was told he was on Interpol's most wanted list.

'I kept saying, 'No, I'm Edward Gossage,' he said.

His protests were ignored and he was sent to Palma prison.

Eddie Gossage was stopped by border police at Palma airport (pictured) when he and wife Brenda arrived for a holiday last month
Eddie Gossage was stopped by border police at Palma airport (pictured) when he and wife Brenda arrived for a holiday last month

Eddie Gossage was stopped by border police at Palma airport (pictured) when he and wife Brenda arrived for a holiday last month

There, he was given an ID card which had his picture, but identified him as Michael Phillips written on it.

'That's my face, mate, but not my name, I'm not signing that,' Mr Gossage said he told the prison official.

'In here, you're Michael Phillips,' he was told.

He spotted a fingerprint machine and thought that he would be freed once his fingerprints were taken.

But he was forced to spend the first of his eight nights in jail in a cell with a Ukrainian who spoke no English.

His devastated wife contacted their daughters Amanda and Jenny, who flew out to Spain.

When they visited Mr Gossage in jail, he was kept behind a glass partition.

His family got in touch with a Spanish solicitor and the British consulate in Majorca.

His daughter Amanda said she told them that if they didn't help free her father, he would 'come out in a box.'

Mr Gossage was final freed after the British consulate flagged the case to the National Crime Agency.

The NCA had issued the European Arrest Warrant for Phillips and officers realised the mistake that occurred.

Since returning home, Mr Gossage has suffered from bad health.

He's also been referred to see a counsellor because he has been having flashbacks to his ordeal.

Mr Gossage says he wants to know who was responsible for the mistake that put him behind bars.

The NCA blames Spanish police who distributed Phillips' details.

 

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By Shawn Arnette 07/11/2018 21:30:00