Innocent Simon overwhelmed by support

Messages flood in as Peru ordeal goes on

'Innocent abroad' Simon Burke says he is bowled over by messages of support from Citizen First readers.

The 37-year-old is marooned in Peru after being duped into accompanying a drugs mule former girlfriend as she tried to smuggle cocaine out of the country.

The response to the Citizen First story about his plight – and a Channel Five TV programme – has been incredible.

More than 2,800 people logged on to our website to read how Simon, of Coffee Hall, faces an agonising wait while the Peruvian authorities decide what to do with him.

He was arrested with Sarah Jackson, aged 39, and also from Milton Keynes, who faces up to 10 years in jail after admitting trying to smuggle drugs in January 2007. She told police Simon was not

involved.

Now free from prison he cannot leave the country and is staying with a Peruvian family, spending his time reading, watching TV or at an internet cafe.

"The area I live is pretty rough and not a place to walk around at night.

"As for my time in prison, it was just a crazy and horrible place.

"I really do not have the words to describe what it was like," he said.

Simon, a former scout leader, says he is hurt and upset at what Sarah had done.

"But I am also very thankful she has never changed her statement," he said.

"I just want to get home to my family and friends, get back to work and get on with my life," he said.

>> An on-line petition for Simon at the Number 10 Downing Street website is currently being considered for approval.