A tourist who was at threat of extradition to Qatar after he was caught with a grinder has told of his nightmare journey back to Scotland.
Conor Howard, 27, is relieved to finally be home after spending three months in a Greek jail, but was worried he would never get out.
He was stopped in Qatar last October while on a stopover flight between Australia, where he had lived for a year, and the UK.
The drug paraphernalia, which had never been used and was bought “for a joke”, was confiscated and Mr Howard was allowed to return home to Tranent, East Lothian.
However, when he travelled to Corfu in August to visit his mum and stepdad, Conor was detained by Greek authorities after they were informed of an outstanding international arrest warrant issued by Qatar.
The Gulf state alleged Mr Howard had been in possession of drugs.
He was held in a Greek prison and later released on bail, but he wasn’t allowed to leave until his court hearing.
The stress of the ordeal caused Mr Howard’s dad to have a heart attack.
On November 4, a Greek court denied the Middle East state’s request to extradite him.
Mr Howard, an engineer, finally arrived home on Sunday and is glad to be reunited with his family and girlfriend.
He said: “It’s fantastic. I never thought this day would come but it’s finally here.
“There were times – especially when I was in prison – I thought I wasn’t going to get home.
‘I never thought this day would come but it’s finally here.’Conor Howard
“It felt like it was never going to end.
“Then I had an e-mail from Qatar saying everything is fine the charges are getting dropped.
“The flight home was not exactly smooth. We got delayed by three hours because of ice on the wing of the plane.
“Then a fuel tanker actually hit the wing and they had to get engineers out to fix it. It took so long I missed my connecting flight in London and had to stay another day.
“That one extra day felt like an extra week.
“There were people who were coming to the airport to meet me on Saturday, but I couldn’t make it. I’ve literally just stepped out of the airport.
“I’m just going to see my family and spend time with them and my girlfriend.”