A former soldier, condemned to half a century in a hell-hole Thai prison for peddling drugs, will soon be sent back to the UK.

Lance Whitmore, from Bromsgrove, will serve what is left of his sentence in a British jail under the International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme.

The move follows a high-profile campaign by the 31-year-old’s family and friends, who set up public Facebook group “Help Get Lance Whitmore Home”. Whitmore, an employee of Petroleum Oil Services in Thailand, was caught with 200 ecstasy tablets by undercover cops. They say he was selling the mind-bending drug in a Pattaya supermarket.

They also arrested Aussie Jake Mastronianni in the same 2014 swoop, and uncovered 60 more tablets at his apartment. Mastronianni received an even longer sentence than Whitmore – because he pleaded not guilty.

Whitmore’s dad, Russ, had moved to Thailand in 2007 and owned a restaurant in Pattya. Thailand has now revealed Whitmore is “set to be transferred” to a British nick. But it warned: “He could still be required to serve up to 21 years in jail, even though his legal team had indicated previously that he could be freed in less than 10 years.”

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