Couple in Filipino jail on verge of losing hope
7:50am Monday 25th February 2013 in Latest News
THE wife of a Swindon man has told how they feel they are waiting for death after almost four years on remand in a Filipino jail. Charlene and Kevin Taylor, who are accused of running an illegal employment racket, have been locked up while prosecutors look over their case.
The Adver told this week how the couple, who have three young children, are being held in squalid conditions at San Mateo jail, in Rizal, east of the country’s capital Manila.
They face two out of the 25 original charges and could be released on bail – but only if Kevin’s parents, who have already spent their life savings on the case, can find £5,000 bail for the pair.
Charlene said in a letter: “Over the years we have stayed in this jail, many things have happened which have changed our lives, and put a big mark on our souls.
“Kevin’s health has deteriorated, he has lost a lot of weight and is physically not good having been so ill for the past three years.
“Now he is having problems with his skin, including boils, eczema and rashes. “Aside from this, both of us have been seeing psychiatrists regularly. Kevin has been suffering from clinical depression and has been taking anti-depressant tablets every day.
“Honestly, we don’t know how much more we can endure. “It seems that every day we have to face another problem and it seems that we have lost our hope.”
The Taylors’ plight has been taken up by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson, who has been told by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office that it will send a formal note to the Philippines authorities to speed up the case if the couple are not granted bail next month.
Kevin, 47, and Charlene, 33, ran a visa and travel consultancy in Manila, and have strongly denied being involved in charging fees to send labour abroad – which is illegal in the Philippines.
But they have been unable to contest the accusations, with complainants frequently failing to turn up in court. The couple have been helped by Kevin’s parents, Gerald and Mary Taylor, from Stratton, but the pensioners have spent everything they have on the case.
Charlene wrote: “Kevin’s dad had been sending some money every month to buy groceries but as it is not that much, it is very hard to make it last. “It’s so sad to receive letters from Kevin asking me for coffee and biscuits, but not being able to send any to him. It’s like waiting for your death bed as I don’t know where and how to provide for our everyday needs.”
The couple’s next hearings are on March 7 and 11, when they hope the charges will either be dropped or they will be granted bail.