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After 8 Years In Maltese Prison, Daniel Holmes Is Having A Hard Time Settling Back Into Civilian Life

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Daniel Holmes, the Welshman sentenced to over a decade in prison in Malta for growing cannabis in Gozo in 2006, has opened up about how hard coping with free life has been.

Speaking to Lovin Malta, Daniel explained that since being re-united with his wife and two daughters, who are the centre of his world, it’s been difficult being around people so openly. After being locked up with hardened criminals in a foreign country for eight years after committing a non-violent crime, his time inside has taken its toll on him.

“Well, where do I start, life has been so very full,” Holmes told Lovin Malta. “It’s so hard to find a place back in the world, most of living is beyond me and I still get very panicked being around people. It’s been hard finding ourselves together as a family, but we’re getting there.”

“Time flies by so fast when one’s not watching the clocks”

Aside from being with his family again, some of the little things we take for granted have really made a difference in Daniel’s life – even things like having access to a washing machine, which he calls “a dream come true”.

Working on his debut novel detailing everything he saw inside Corradino Correctional Facility in Paola, Holmes is slowly coming to terms with balancing work life with his personal life – something he didn’t need to do inside jail.

“Writing has gone slower than I imagined, I guess it was so easy in
prison when there was nothing else to do. But, the book is coming together, I suppose I’m halfway there,” he said. “Time flies by so fast when one’s not watching the clocks.”

Holmes was jailed before Facebook was even a thing, and having joined social media after being released, he quickly became overwhelmed

“I’ve not been on Facebook for so long, there were just so many old
friends wanting to meet up and I can’t face them,” he said. “I suppose just time with my girls is all I need. I’ve done little else.”

Unfortunately, Daniel and his wife Marzena experienced a terrible personal loss during the holidays, just months after being reunited

“We did have some unfortunate news,” he said. “November we became pregnant again, but unfortunately a week before Christmas we had a miscarriage and that meant a lot of pain for the Mrs and us all. Just another thing life throws at us and we have to get on with it. It’s a new year though, loads to do, and wonders to enjoy.”

Apologising for being so “dark”, he said his family were really missing the island, even after all the pain and hardship Maltese authorities put him through

“It’s strange how much I, Mrs and kids miss Malta,” he said.

“One day I’ll be back, that’s guaranteed. And please tell anyone that asks that I’m always thinking about your islands and wish everyone the very best for this and every new year.”

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Pictured above: A recent photo of Daniel Holmes and his daughter Rainbow, holding a book featuring a poem of Daniel’s, at the Koestler Trust Exhibition in London.

Daniel expressed some of his anxieties following prison life in a poem, published exclusively below

The Ghost Inside

Within a shroud of stone and steel

When keys are turned and doorways sealed

When light it leaves and darkness comes

And silence beats as loud as drums

When living are kept from their dreams

That’s when the Ghost Inside is seen.


Upon the air an icy chill

Where fear sweeps and time stands still

A phantom shimmers into sight

Unnerving terror fills the night

A vision screams in silent pose

That’s when the Ghost Inside is close.


A flickered spectre to the eye

In scenes that haunt and terrify

One lasting memory of a death

When rope was strung to stop a breath

From pale features panic spreads

That’s where the Ghost Inside hanged dead.


And every night upon that cell

That ghost is trapped within that hell

And those who stay awake too late

Are witness to that life forsake

To suffer damned forever bound

That’s where the Ghost Inside is found.


Within that prison chamber tomb

Where life was ended far too soon

Where hope had left and sorrow stayed

And to a soul the price was paid

There’s no escape – there cannot be

For I am dead – That Ghost is me.

Daniel has been banned from returning to the island for five years. He is currently working on his debut novel which will be released in Malta.

What do you make of Holmes’ account? Let us know in the comments below and share this post if you think more people need to read this!

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