A DAD-of-three held in Filipino jails for the past decade could be home by Christmas.

Kevin Taylor, 53, has been finally been released by the authorities after serving time since 2009 for a crime he has previously said he did not commit. Together with his Filipino wife Charlene, 39, the former recruitment firm boss was convicted of defrauding jobseekers in the Philippines with promises of employment in the UK.

He was initially arrested on the fraud charges in May 2009 and held for more than five years without trial. In 2014, Kevin and Charlene were convicted and each sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Recent changes to the law have meant an early release for the pair.

Charlene was released in September. Now Kevin is being held in an immigration centre and waiting to be deported from the country.

“He is very happy, very excited to be coming home,” said Charlene.

She described the overcrowded conditions in the first prison in which they were held, San Mateo: “In a cell that was about 25m by 25m there were 70 to 120 inmates, while I was in a cell of the same size but with only 22 female detainees.

“Male prisons are overcrowded and men have a different mentality. He was rarely allowed to move outside his cell.

“Kevin had to endure the emotional trauma of being in a place he shouldn’t be, with less food he became ill.

“San Mateo was harsh on Kevin. I needed to fight with the guards to let him out for exercise.”

After he was convicted, Kevin was moved to New Bilibid maximum security prison in Muntinlupa, a suburb of the capital, Manila.

Before he was sent, Kevin told the Advertiser in 2015 the move scared him: “When I go there my intention is to build a small kubol shelter and hide away from the drugs, gambling and gangs, just to keep myself to myself if they will allow me.”

Charlene, with whom Kevin has three children, said the years in jail had hit her partner’s health: “Kevin is not so good health-wise, both physically and emotionally. He is still receiving medication for high blood pressure, depression and skin scabies.”

Family and friends hope to raise £1,000 to help with the costs of getting him back to the UK. Harry Plant, 71, a Durham-based friend of the family, said the money would help pay the air fare and documents needed to get him home.These costs are not borne by the British embassy.

Kevin’s parents, Stratton couple Gerald and Mary Taylor, have already exhausted their finances on their son’s legal fees, food and medicines.

Release welcomed by MP

KEVIN Taylor’s release was last night welcomed by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson.

He said: “I am pleased that after this drawn out process, Kevin will soon be able to return home to his parents.

“I have repeatedly raised concerns about Kevin’s treatment while he was prison in the Philippines, both in the House of Commons and in conversations with government ministers.

“It is now important that the Filipino authorities work with our embassy staff to ensure Kevin’s return to the UK is done quickly so I will continue to do all I can to support Kevin and his family.”

In 2017, Mr Tomlinson accused the Philippines government of delaying his case and holding him in unsafe conditions. He asked minister Mark Field: “With his health failing further and amid concerns about the safety of the institution, and with his parents worried that they will not see him again, will my right honourable friend set out what is being done to support the family’s efforts to bring him home?” The minister said consular staff had visited Kevin in prison and arranged medical appointments.He would be asking the embassy staff to redouble their efforts, Mr Field added.

‘In touch with Filipino jail’

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday said: “Our staff have been assisting a British man in the Philippines since 2009 and continue to do so. We are in touch with the Philippine authorities about his deportation to the UK.”