I was tortured for years in hellhole prison – I've returned to find I've lost everything and I'm now homeless | The Sun

A BRIT tortured in hellhole Middle Eastern prisons for two years returned home to find he'd lost everything and is now homeless.

Mark Fox, 45, lived the highlife in Dubai as an artist – earning up to £20,000 a pop for artwork he sold to the super rich.

But the dad-of-two's life turned upside down when he was caged for possession of cocaine – plunging him into a world of prison brawls with ISIS terrorists and beatings by evil prison guards.

Mark witnessed men have nervous break downs and was forced to pull out his own teeth and toenails when ravaged by disease in filthy cells.

Speaking from his parents home in Leyland, Lancs., he told The Sun Online: "I've lost everything you could ever imagine, my life and my home has just been put in a skip.

"I was unable to keep my mortgage and car finance payments running when they placed me in prison, so unfortunately I've returned from that hell to a new homeless hell."

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Mark also lost his three dogs as a pal caring for them was forced to rehome them, his motorbike and every item of clothing were also chucked.

"I feel like I've aged about ten years", he added.

On the night he was arrested, twelve officers from the ruthless CID police burst into Mark and his girlfriend's room at the Carlton hotel, Dubai.

He alleges cops then stole cash and his belongings.

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"You don't get arrested, you get kidnapped, kicked, punches, theft", he recalls of the September 4, 2020 horror.

"They stole so much: maybe £30,000, watch, jewellery, three pairs of designer sunglasses."

In custody, brutal Emirati prison guards pummelled Mark to force out an admission and offered him a job as a snitch – he refused.

He was charged with possession and dealing drugs and thrown into a 12x6ft room with two dozen COVID ridden men for nine days at Dubai's Al Barsha prison, forced to lie on the floor 24/7.

I've seen a lot of people lose their heads in there

His girlfriend was separated from him and taken to a women's prison where she remains to this day.

Mark was transferred to an interim prison before moving to Dubai's hellish Al Barsha Old Jail for six months where beatings dominated daily life and he was banned from going to the toilet.

The dad-of-two, the only Brit in there, explained: "They [guards] make every single man lie on their bellies with their faces against the floor.

"Every now and then someone would take a solid kick in the stomach, ribs or head as the guards walked past."

Africans and Pakistani men were "treated like dogs***", Mark remembers, adding: "They would get called into the toilets.

"They were made to lick the toilet bowls, drink toilet water."

In February 2022, after a gruelling stint in an out of various lock ups, Mark was thrown into a wing with 600 men at squalid Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi Central Prison.


Among the clientele in the sweltering hell hole were members of the Taliban, ISIS and Somali Pirates where Mark had only 20 minutes of fresh air a month.

Brawls of up to 200 men would regularly explode in medieval Al Wathba: "It was like what you see in the movies, they'd sharpen metal canteen trays up against the walls.

"They'd slice each other through their heads, there would be blood running through the corridors."

Jugs of boiling water would get hurled at Judo-trained Mark and his "allegiance" of African Christians who he prayed with in the evenings.

It wasn't just deranged prisoners Mark contended with, he was forced to sleep with cockroaches swarming over his body as guards purposefully cranked up the air-con to freeze prisoners.

There would be blood running through the corridors

And he faced all of this as his family, and his girlfriend who was arrested alongside him, had no clue where he was.

Explaining the horror, the artist said: "I had no contact with my family, you have to buy your phone cards, I had no money, I wasn't able to call."

And he only had a handful of visits from the British Embassy alongside fellow Brit prisoner Billy Hood – but Mark slams diplomats for a lack of support.

Held on a filthy, scabies ridden wing with everyone from terror leaders and murderers to people who have farted in public – Mark was pushed the verge of insanity.

The 45-year-old said: "I've seen a lot of people lose their heads in there. I would have a two week spell when I thought I was losing my head, you've just got to slap yourself and say 'come on man'."


Others weren't so lucky: Mark recalled witnessing a barbaric beating of a special needs man who snarling guards chained to a pole, "I never saw him again after that", he muttered.

After a horror ordeal inside, Mark was granted a court date where he admitted to doing cocaine which he said was a "huge mistake" – he flew home in October this year.

He added: "It's my own fault. It was from partying, from going out clubbing.

"I was making good money out there with my artwork. I was living the dream I suppose."

But Mark has railed against the "useless" British government who he claims did not provide him with any money or "even a bar of soap".

He has since written a joint letter with other Brits detained in the country slamming their inaction for his almost two-year ordeal.

Now living in a back room at his parents' house in Lancashire, Mark says: "People thought I had disappeared or died."

"I'm a bit lost, it's a little bit strange, I don't have anything anymore, I don't know what the next step is going to be."

Mark is planning to start painting again to get himself back on his feet.

Responding to Mark's allegations, a Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We provided consular assistance to a British man imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates.”

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Mark's art can be found on Instagram: mark_geordie_fox

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