Parole for orphanage man in prison ordeal

A WARBOYS man, who has always protested his innocence, has been granted parole from a Brazilian prison after four years. For the past week, he has been allowed to leave the prison each day so long as he returns at night. Craig Alden founded the Abrigo W

A WARBOYS man, who has always protested his innocence, has been granted parole from a Brazilian prison after four years.

For the past week, he has been allowed to leave the prison each day so long as he returns at night.

Craig Alden founded the Abrigo Warboys Orphanage in Brazil in 1991 with money from donors in Cambridgeshire.

His family say he founded the children's refuge after seeing a child shot in front of him for stealing a loaf of bread.


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He has always been at loggerheads with the authorities and was jailed for 48 years (later commuted to 11) in 2002 on what he says are trumped up charges of child abuse.

His conviction has been described by leading British barrister Jeremy Richardson QC as a grave miscarriage of justice.

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His defence lawyers missed a court deadline and no defence case was presented.

A campaign by Mr Alden's friends and family received good wishes from the wife of the President of Brazil, Marisa da Silva when she met Mr Alden's mother Maureen on a state visit to Britain this year.

In April Mr Alden was granted parole by Brazil's Supreme Court.

However, it has taken nearly two months for this to be actioned by the court in Planaltina, where he is being held, 50 kilometres from the capital, Brasilia.

His daily release has meant he could celebrate his 37th birthday outside the jail.

However, he still cannot return home to his family, his Brazilian wife Marli, and 11-year-old son,John, because he has to return to the prison each night.

The next stage of his parole would be the freedom to live outside the prison on the condition that he signs in each week.

Maureen Alden said: "I'm very pleased that Craig has some measure of freedom, but I am worried about his safety in the community because of the nature of the charges - and of course the hostility he faces from the authorities."

Mrs Alden said the campaign to free her son and clear his name would continue.

"We will continue pressing the Foreign Office to urge that the Brazilian government allows Craig his human rights and seeks to clear-up this injustice," she said.

"We will keep lobbying, and as far as the campaign is concerned, it's business as usual.

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