Ill granddad facing 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia for owning wine hopes to rebuild life in Clapham on release

A British granddad of seven who faces 350 deadly lashes in Saudi Arabia hopes to rebuild his life in Clapham once he is freed.

Karl Andree, 74, who has battled bladder and colon cancer, was imprisoned in the strict Muslim country last August for possession of homemade wine.

Despite assurances from the Foreign Office that the punishment won’t go ahead, Mr Andree’s family started an online petition which gathered more than 200,000 signatures calling on David Cameron to intervene.

Mr Andree’s son, Simon, 35, of Clapham, told SW Londoner: “If it did happen I would just be utterly dismayed and appalled, and as much utterly annoyed and angry at the government after all the assurances they have given me thus far, which we have questioned all along.

“We have questioned these assurances and if it were to go ahead I would feel utterly let down.”

Having spent the last 25 years in Saudi Arabia working for an oil company and only visiting the UK twice a year, Simon said he would like his father to live with his family in Clapham.

Describing Mr Andree as a ‘lovely and generous’ man, Simon emphasised that his father’s ill health is a serious concern.

He said:  “He’s never been a very healthy man – he’s always had health issues.

“He’s got no cartilage in his knee from playing squash when he was younger, so he collapses every time he walks.

“He’s had cancer in the last five years three times. Colon cancer, bladder cancer and he is also diabetic and suffers from severe asthma.

“People seem to forget that people still smoke around the world. Everyone in the prison smokes, so that’s not great and he also suffers from gout.

“He’s treated well in the prison, he gets three meals a day.

“Most people sleep on the floor, but from what I believe out there they respect the elderly, so he’s been given a bed. Just little things, there’s been issues.

“There have been some issues like when he’s transported to court they shackle him feet to hands and shove him in the back of a truck to sit on the floor for a few hours to the court in 40-plus degree heat.”

Mr Andree’s wife of 50 years, Verity, 72, has been suffering from dementia and lives in a care home in Margate, Kent.

The last time Mr Andree saw his wife and family was last August at Monty Python Live at the O2, just before his arrest.

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