British great-grandfather with dementia locked up in Dubai to be released after officials admit 'mistakes'

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William Norman Meyerhoff was locked up in Dubai after being held by officials during a transit stop on a flight bound for Australia in May and has been in prison since. (SWNS)

A British great-grandfather with dementia who was locked up in Dubai over cheques he didn't write will be released after officials admitted they had made “mistakes”.

William Norman Meyerhoff, 72, has been in prison in Dubai since May after he was held by officials during a transit stop en route to Australia.

Authorities said there were 38 criminal cases against him in the country relating to bounced cheques falsely made in his name by owners of a company he used to work for – which he denies knowledge off.

His family had insisted that despite the 72-year-old, who is originally from Grimsby in Lincolnshire but now lives in Australia, working in Dubai over a decade ago, he had never had any issues there.

Now Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who is representing Meyerhoff, said UAE diplomats have admitted “we sometimes make mistakes”.

Meyerhoff with his son Matthew, who said they feared they would never see him again after he was locked up in May.(SWNS)

She said she has passed on the news to his son Matthew, who also lives in Australia, saying: “William was amazed to hear the good news that authorities had promised to release his father.

“It was the first he had heard, despite the British Embassy having been in contact with him yesterday.

Read more: Helpline inundated by thousands 'terrified of losing their homes'

“William was locked up with fellow British grandfather Albert Douglas who has also been detained over bounced cheques he didn’t write.

“Albert had been caring for William who also suffers dementia and was struggling in the prison when the two were taken from the cell and brought to a luxury two bedroom apartment within the prison, designed for VIP’s and Sheikhs who are jailed.”

Stirling said Meyerhoff's son had said: “We had kind of lost hope. We didn’t think he’d ever get home. In fact, we didn’t expect we would ever see him again.

'We had resigned ourselves to preparing for the worst given his health condition. We are extremely grateful that the UAE authorities have made this promise and are desperate to see him home.

“He will have to be quarantined in Australia for two weeks when he arrives but we will try to get a doctor to help him. Thank you so much for this wonderful news.”

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