Brit grandad Albert Douglas was strangled with a phone cord in a Dubai hellhole prison as he tried to call family (Picture: detainedindubai.org)
A British grandad jailed in a Dubai prison is lucky to be alive after a crazed inmate tried to strangle him to death with a telephone cord.
61-year-old Albert Douglas, who claims to be innocent, was attempting to connect to his family in the UK when he was attacked from behind.
Upon hearing his struggle, call operators initially assumed Douglas was having a stroke and immediately phoned his son Wolfgang to inform him of his father’s condition.
Speaking to the Sun, Wolfgang, 36, said his father’s attacker ‘tried their best to strangle him to death.’
Holding back tears, he added: ‘They called me straight away and said they think he’s having a stroke because he’s gargling.
‘He wasn’t, he was being strangled to death. He is just a frail old man. He is totally and utterly finished now.’
Albert eventually managed to fend off his attacker and was rushed to hospital.
However, upon arrival he was thrown into an isolation room with no light or fresh air for a month, which caused him to develop scabies.
The Douglas family believe that the inmate – who used the metal cord attached to the prison phone to strangle Albert – carried out the October attack out of jealousy.
Wolfgang told the publication that Albert regularly rings his relatives, and that Wolfgang has to pay £130 for every 30 minutes he spends on the phone to his father.
The high cost means that many other inmates cannot afford to make calls.
Albert, who hails from London, has in the past described conditions in the maximum security prison as ‘medieval’ and ‘demonic’.
The businessman previously lived a life of extraordinary wealth in Dubai’s Palm Islands, where he drove a Rolls Royce and had ‘tens of millions’ in the bank.
But it all came to an end in 2019, when he was ordered to pay a £2.5million fine by the UAE after his son’s company, a flooring firm he has no association with- amassed debts it couldn’t repay.
Albert was then arrested over a bounced cheque he did not write, and has remained in prison ever since.
Under Dubai law, anyone linked to a company that owes money can be found liable for their debts – and family members are often pursued for payments.
He was initially charged while in the UK and his family begged him not to go back to Dubai, but he did because he believed he was innocent and that this would be proven in a Dubai court of law.
But even though forensic tests proved the cheque was not his, Albert was hit by a string of other trumped-up charges and has spent over £1million in courts since trying to clear his name.
Wolfgang said that in October, a further minimum ‘five additional years’ were added to his father’s sentence by Dubai authorities.
The 36-year-old told The Sun that while his father ‘will never cry […] He is totally and utterly done, he has mentally almost given up.
‘This is just horrifying. Everyday he rings you, you just feel like you’re being sick inside. ‘In five years they’ll just add more, for what?’ he asked.
Albert and his wife Naomi moved to Dubai in 2003, where they made their money selling floors during the country’s property boom.
The father of four lived a luxury lifestyle and persuaded his eldest son Wolfgang to move to Dubai from his home in London.
Wolfgang started the company TimberWolf and his father was one of the signatories on the business.
However, their business relationship ended in 2018 when Albert gave up any involvement in the company.
For the last three years, his family has been urging the UK government to use diplomatic pressure to help free him from the hellhole jail.