BRITISH dad – Toby Robyns – held in Turkey for an ancient coin cache found in his hand luggage – is today (Tues Oct 3) spending his first day back in the UK with his family.
The father-of-five, of Southwick, West Sussex, was released from prison in Mugla, near Bodrum, yesterday (Monday).
He was put on a flight back to the UK and landed this morning (Tuesday), Mrs Burcu Holmgren, of law firm London Legal International, confirmed to Voices.
Paramedic Mr Robyns, 52, was arrested at Bodrum Airport in August, in front of his horrified family, after 13 ancient coins he found while snorkelling off Turgutreis, on the Bodrum Peninsula, were found by airport officials in his hand luggage.
He had decided to take them home as a souvenir of his fortnight-long break. But security staff at Bodrum airport deemed them historical treasures and Mr Robyns was held on suspicion of “finding Turkish artefacts without notifying authorities”.
Mr Robyns was facing up to 13 years jail time, but lawyer Murat Yilmaz of London Legal International successfully argued in court last week that the British man ‘lacked criminal intent’ in taking the coins.
Mr Robyns’s family is ‘over-joyed, thrilled, relieved and delighted to have him back’, commented Mrs Holmgren.
Mrs Holmgren added Mr Robyns would not be releasing any comments at this stage as he was spending ‘special’ time with his family.
At the time of his arrest on August 22, family friends said Mr Robyns was unaware of committing an offence with taking the historical treasures out of the country without consent.
His friend James Shackleton commented: “This was harmless fun on a holiday you’ve enjoyed — and now he has been put in prison.
Toby found the old coins and decided to take them home as a souvenir of his fortnight-long break James, 47, added: “He found a number of coins among the rocks and sand. When he went to get his flight home they dragged him off and searched his hand luggage.”
His distraught wife Heidi, 43, a doctor’s receptionist, and their two sons Baxter, nine, and Brodie, seven, were forced to fly home without him.