A British passenger and Army veteran, Steve Long, suffered a mental breakdown and told airline staff there could be a bomb on his flight from Abu Dhabi.
While some staff recognised he was having a psychotic episode, police were called, and he was arrested. He has been moved to a notorious desert prison from a psychiatric hospital where he was undergoing treatment.
His wife fears that with limited medical help at the Al Wathba prison, his condition will get worse and he might not survive his incarceration.
‘He was not making a bomb threat but was completely paranoid and telling people he was being followed. He is not a criminal but the longer he is kept in prison he is just going to get worse’
Long faces up to 13 years in jail unless he can pay a 200,000 Dirhams fine after a court in the United Arab Emirates convicted him of making a bomb threat to Etihad Airlines staff.
‘He will not be able to cope in the prison and the surroundings will just make things worse. I don’t know how long he can last in there as there is no way we have the money to pay the fine and I cannot bear the thought of him being locked up.’
‘These attacks triggered a severe PTSD reaction for Steve, and he spiralled into a manic state, imagining that he was back in the armed services and in a war zone. In his mind, he was alerting the airport staff about a possible bomb out of a sense of duty and caution’