FREED grandad Steve Grant sipped a cup of coffee in his favourite Southsea cafe - and savoured his return home.
Fresh from finally leaving Dubai after his house arrest nightmare, he told of his relief and of his renewed determination to win back his abducted grandchildren.
Mr Grant arrived back in the UK last Thursday night. He had been held under house arrest since mid-April when, travelling to Oman in a bid to see Aishah, ten and Faris, seven, he was held at the airport on accusations that phone messages he sent their paternal grandfather amounted to threats to kill.
‘It has been a nightmare’ said Mr Grant as he enjoyed a hot drink at the Coffee#1 shop in Palmerston Road.
‘Even at the end it was touch and go as to whether I would actually get out.
‘I got a call from the British Embassy saying I could go to the police station to get my passport back.
We must put more pressure on Oman. We train their sailors and do huge military deals with them, but two British citizens are still being illegally held thereSteve Grant
‘I met the prosecutor, who said I had to sign a form, but three policemen followed me into the room and appeared to be arguing with him in Arabic. He seemed to be saying that he had been told I must be allowed to leave.’
Mr Grant said he was then pushed from one office to another in the airport, signing forms and having to pay for copies of documents.
He says he estimates that his incarceration in Dubai has cost him between £15,000 and £20,000 in lost earnings, lawyers’ fees and expenses.
‘I’m so relieved to have left’ he said. ‘They have taken my phone and say the case is still being investigated. But I will not go back there - it’s just too risky.’
Mr Grant has met his MP Flick Drummond (Portsmouth South) to thank her for her help and to seek assistance in getting his daughter Lacey Plato’s children home.
They were abducted from Portsmouth in 2012 by their father Usuama Al-Barwani, who is now in a UK jail for contempt of the High Court.
‘We must put more pressure on Oman’ said Mr Grant. ‘We train their sailors and do huge military deals with them, but two British citizens are still being illegally held there.’