A FATHER imprisoned on holiday has spoken of the six weeks of hell he endured in Turkey’s toughest jail.

Toby Robyns, of Southwick, had been enjoying a family break with wife Heidi and sons Baxter, ten, and Brody, nine.

They had been on a pirate-themed tourist boat where the captain had encouraged them to dive for souvenir coins while snorkelling.

But when the family prepared to fly home to Gatwick at the end of their two weeks in the sun, ambulance worker Toby was arrested at Milas-Bodrum airport and thrown into a cell, accused of smuggling historic artefacts.

Denied an interpreter or legal representation, Toby was sent to Mugler Prison where he had to share a cell with murderers, paedophiles and terrorists.

At times he feared for his life.

The father of five’s family was left in the dark as he fought to prove his innocence.

Now back home and with his life returning to normal, Toby has written a book about his ordeal based on the hidden diary entries he smuggled out of the prison in his boxer shorts.

Speaking exclusively to The Argus about his ordeal in August last year, Toby said: “It was really scary. There were ten other people in the cell when I arrived – 16 by the time I left.

“The cell was tiny, 20 metres long and just two and a half metres wide with a sloping roof and just one Turkish toilet – which is a hole in the ground.

“In the same cell as me were four sex offenders, an armed robber, murderers and thieves.

“Another chap had apparently killed 23 women and children. I was frightened to death.

“There were four Isis terrorists and another four or five murderers. There was a guy they called The Executioner. He was a hit man for the Georgian mafia and had apparently shot a policeman in the face.

“All these people wanted to do was row and fight all day long.

“I was in there for 42 days. I arrived on the Saturday, on August 19, and it was the following Thursday before I was given a phone call to Heidi.

“I was told I could make a call and had to get some phone credit off one of the paedophiles.

“Probably for the first four or five minutes of that call, we were just in tears.

“I had to ask her to get a lawyer and call the embassy, then the call just cut off after ten minutes. Luckily she had already started doing everything she could to get me out.”

MILD-MANNERED Toby Robyns had to toughen up to defend himself from attacks in his Turkish jail cell.

“It’s in my nature to help people not fight people,” he said.

“That first call home I got, Heidi said to me ‘Have you been in trouble, have you had any fights?’. ”

The truth was that he had suffered daily torment.

There were no blankets in the cells which were open to the elements, no hot water to wash and his drinking water was regularly stolen by other inmates.

The 53-year-old, of Old Shoreham Road, Southwick, had to bribe the guards with cigarettes to get his watch and wedding ring back.

Every night he lay on his uncomfortable bunk fearing what the other prisoners might do and that he may never leave.

In one of the most terrifying experiences he endured, Toby was forced by guards to fight a fellow inmate named The Executioner, a hitman for the Georgian mafia.

“I was forcefully pushed into a small cell and the big metal door slammed shut behind me,” he said.

“There was this great big guy aged in his thirites in there who they called The Executioner.

“He took one look at me and said ‘I kill you English’.

“I tried to talk my way out of it, I banged on the cell door but he punched me in the back of the head.

“So I took my glasses off and my watch and wedding ring and pulled my shirt over my head.

“As I pulled my T-shirt up over my head I knew it was my only chance of catching him off guard.

“I kicked him and punched him in the throat. I just remember sitting on top of him and punching and punching until the guards pulled me off.”

Eventually Toby’s lawyer from London Legal International was able to get a new hearing and argued that the coins he picked up during a pirate-themed trip, which had originally been considered £15,000 artefacts, were in reality bought online for just a few pounds.

On September 29 he was told he could go home – but not before he endured another night at a detention centre alongside a Isis terrorist.

He was finally flown home. He said: “I remember seeing the two doors opening after you come through customs at Gatwick.

“I could see my boys. I couldn’t tell you whether anyone else was around.

“I just grabbed my boys and everyone was crying.”

Despite his ordeal being over, it has left a marked effect on the whole family.

Toby said: “My kids don’t want to go on a plane again. They don’t want to go abroad.

“It has cost an absolute fortune. The lawyers were about £10,000.

“So this year I think we’ll be holidaying in Britain.”

Toby’s book about his ordeal, Absolution, is available now on Amazon.