Daniel Holmes, the Welshman sentenced to a decade in Maltese prison for growing five mature cannabis plants, has finally arrived back home and been reunited with his wife and two children.
Lovin Malta embarked on the journey back home with Holmes earlier this morning, and will be documenting the next 24 hours in a video which will be released soon.
Finally, after hours of travelling, Holmes was reunited with his wife Marzena, who he had last seen over seven months ago back in February. “Not too long ago, but not near enough ago,” he contemplated, excitedly walking to Arrivals.
Landing at Bristol Airport earlier this morning, Holmes was visibly emotional to be finally back.
“It feels pretty good to be back on firm ground,” he smiled on the airport runway moments before reuniting with his wife. “I’d like to thank everybody for all your best wishes, and good luck to everybody.”
Holmes’ journey back home started early this morning, well before sunrise
Speaking to Lovin Malta’s Johnathan Cilia, Holmes explained how “they opened the doors at about quarter past four.”
After a quick shower and a chat with “some of the boys who were waiting up”, Holmes was ushered into a car that went straight to the airport’s Immigration Office.
“I sat in that room for about half an hour, maybe a bit more, and then I was amongst the population,” the Welshman smiled. “The last thing the immigration policeman said to me was ‘Good luck sir’. And I thought, after eight years of having to call people ‘sir’, I had an immigration officer tell me ‘sir’! And that felt quite good to be honest.”
Back in 2006, Holmes received a controversially-harsh punishment of 10 years behind bars and a €23,000 fine after police said he was trying to traffic the plants despite his insistence that it was for personal use. Holmes has become the poster child for injustice in Maltese courts ever since.
Since his sentencing, Malta has greatly lessened the punishments surrounding cannabis, with the most recent step being the legalisation of cannabis for medical use.
Back in December, Holmes wasn’t sure about his future after being released, speculating that they might deport him as soon as his sentence was up.