Just days before his appeal, Patrick Cooke met Welshman Daniel Holmes who was given a 10-and-a-half year prison term after police found cannabis plants in his Gozo flat.

Sitting in an office at Corradino Correctional Facility designated for the interview, he was in a reflective mood.

“I know a lot of people think that I got what I deserved,” he said.

“But I think the punishment should always fit the crime. I never said I was innocent, I know I’ve broken a law. But I’ve always tried to be a good man. I’ve not broken a law of God, I’ve broken a law of the land.”

Now aged 35, Mr Holmes was 28 when he was arrested in June 2006 at his €300-per-month Gozo flat, where he was growing cannabis plants that he has always maintained were for his own personal use.

In November 2011 he was handed a 10-and-a-half year prison term; another year will be added if he does not pay the €23,000 fine that came with it. Unwittingly, the sentence made him a cause célèbre for drug reform campaigners who felt his punishment exposed glaring problems with the law and justice system.

See parts of the interview above. Full text in The Sunday Times and timesofmalta.com Premium http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131020/interview/-I-ve-always-tried-to-be-a-good-man-.491047#.UmPjUFOabZg

This subject will also be tackled on TimesTalk produced by Times of Malta on TVM on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us