Innocent Brit Trucker held in France

Hi, all you truckers out there, I’m in need of help.
To keep a long story short, my brother (Paul Watson) who had his own haulage business (Principal Logistics) in Leeds was arrested in France on the 25th Sept 2003 after a large amount of cannabis was found in a trailer which he had picked up in Barcelona and was bringing back to the UK. My brother knew nothing of this as all the paperwork for the load was in order and all the pallets were already sealed when he picked it up.
I’m sure all you guys know that in the transport business a lot of work is done on trust without the driver knowing exactly what their load consists of. This is something that I’m trying to get across to both ours and the french government.
He is now being held in prison in Lille in disgusting conditions, has not yet been charged and in fact can be held for 2 years without charge and he has had death threats from Iraqui prisoners also being held there. He has had no legal representation since his arrest mainly because the French are dragging their heels. My family and I have been in touch with the British Consulate and the Home office (a complete waste of time - they say there is nothing they can do), we have also got Fair Trials Abroad on the case but there is nothing they can really do until his case goes to trial, although they have been in touch with my brother. We have also been in contact with or sent emails to the BBC, ITV, SKY, local & national newpapers, local radio stations and so on but nobody seems to really want to get involved.

So, I’m trying to get in touch with British truckers or their families who have or have in the past been in this situation or from anybody else who is willing to give me their support. I’m trying to do this not just for my brother but for all the Brit truckers who are being held all over Europe in similar circumstances wether they are innocent or not and whom it seems to me are being completely ignored by the British government who are basically trying to sweep them under the carpet.

Anyway guys, I want to try and get some sort of national campaign going where we can make not only the government but also the public aware of what is going on so if you can give me your support that would be great.

Contact me either by posting a reply here or get in touch through my email address,


Hi Steve

Welcome to TruckNet Uk and I am sorry to hear about your brother.

On this site we do have a forum specially for the family and friends of drivers held in prisons abroad. You can find it here and you may get some help and be able to discuss things with people in the same position as yourself if you also post in there. That forum is sponsered by The Drivers and Families Helpline and you can find their site here.

Good luck