AN innocent Brit granddad trapped in a Dubai prison is lucky to be alive after a crazed inmate strangled him with a telephone cord.
Albert Douglas, 61, was trying to get through to his family from Al Barshar prison when the lunatic struck from behind.
Call operators thought he was having a stroke and immediately called his son Wolfgang Douglas in the UK.
Holding back tears, the 36-year-old said his dad’s attacker “tried their best to strangle him to death”.
“They called me straight away and said they think he’s having a stroke because he’s gargling,” Wolfgang told The Sun.
“He wasn’t, he was being strangled to death. He is just a frail old man. He is totally and utterly finished now.”
Albert managed to fight the nut off during the October attack but was rushed to hospital.
He was then thrown into isolation in a room with no light or fresh air for a month where he developed scabies.
The family believe the inmate – who used the metal cable from the prison payphones – was “jealous” of how regularly Albert rings his relatives.
Wolfgang pays £130 for every 30 minutes he’s on the phone to his dad – a cost many prisoners simply cannot afford.
Londoner Albert once lived a life of extraordinary wealth on Dubai’s Palm Islands, driving a Rolls Royce with “tens of tens of millions” in the bank.
But in 2021 he was arrested and ordered to pay a £2.5million fine by the UAE after his son’s company, a flooring firm – which he has no association with – amassed debts it couldn’t repay.
The expat tycoon was held over a bounced cheque that he did not write, according to Detained in Dubai.
Even though forensic tests proved the cheque was not his, Albert was hit by a string of other trumped-up charges, it is claimed.
Wolfgang told The Sun how UAE authorities in October added a minimum “five additional years” to Albert’s prison sentence as they continue to pile on charges with new evidence – while ransacking the company’s accounts.
The Douglases are now facing another Christmas without Albert as Wolfgang works on the family mobile home business to support two families.
“He is such a trooper. He will never cry,” Wolfgang said.
“His birthday is on December 10, he is going to be 62, and his health is totally finished now.
“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 has risked the wrath of the authorities to speak out about the beatings he has suffered in jail.
He said was beaten so badly in notorious Al Ain Prison he wound up in hospital with a broken left shoulder, broken hands with exposed bones and serious head injuries.
The multi-millionaire described his head as “being a football for some of the guards” which has led toand in turn resulted in him going “deaf” following a fall.
His bones repaired themselves crooked meaning they had to be re-broken so he could recover properly and was left without painkillers for six months.
Albert said his ordeal deepened and was “denied food and water” which meant he “had to drink toilet water to survive”.
“The UAE say torture doesn’t take place but I’ve seen hundreds of prisoners with wounds to prove it,” he said.
Albert fears a “tsunami of cases” being brought against him will lead to endless prison sentences.
He was 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.
He has spent over £1million in the courts in a vain bid to clear his name.
Albert made his money with a successful flooring company that profited during the Middle Eastern country’s property boom.
For the last two years, his family has been urging the UK government to use diplomatic pressure to help free him from the hellhole jail.