UK & World News
One Of Britain's Most Wanted To Return To UK
One of Britain's Most Wanted fugitives says his life on the run has become "a living nightmare" and he is ready to return to the UK.
Wayne Smith, who jumped bail after a conviction for causing death by dangerous driving, has been hiding in Northern Cyprus for six years.
He told me: "I want to go back and face justice. It's about closure for me and closure for the family of the man who died.
"Their loss is tragic and I sympathise and I'm truly and deeply sorry. No-one wants to turn back the clocks more than I do if I could."
Smith, 38, faces several years in jail for causing the death of pedestrian Mohammed Idrees, in Birmingham in 2005.
He said he fled abroad because he was suffering from stress and had received death threats which the police failed to take seriously.
He is here with his partner Julie-Anne Skelding who is also on the Most Wanted list after being convicted of giving him a false alibi.
They have survived undetected in the Turkish-controlled north of the divided island because although many Brits live and holiday here, it has no extradition treaty with the UK.
Smith said: "This is no holiday lifestyle here. We have no money and struggle from day-to-day to make ends meet.
"We have been lucky to make some unbiased friends and they have supported us. No-one knew our background, but obviously they do now.
"But I didn't come here and change my name or my appearance. When someone has challenged me I've told the truth."
Smith was an account executive with a mobile phone company at the time of his conviction.
He was driving behind a friend's car when it hit pedestrian Mohammed Idrees, 22, as he crossed a suburban road in Birmingham.
Smith's car dragged Mr Idrees for more than 100 metres before he pulled over and found the young man dead under his vehicle.
He says he drove off because a large group of Asian men was running towards him and he feared they would attack and kill him.
Smith said he was already considering returning to Britain before he and his partner were exposed in a list of Most Wanted in a Crimestoppers appeal a month ago.
He has been employed as an odd-job man here, while Skelding, 40, worked in various bars frequented by British ex-pats. They both intend to return to the UK.
Smith said: "It's become a living nightmare, because eventually your passport runs out. I never wanted to escape justice, I wanted time to consider my actions because I felt I was unfairly convicted.
"I was involved in a tragic accident. It was hurtful to see myself described as Most Wanted. I would never put myself in that category with terrorists and murderers.
"What I did was wrong, I killed a man, but it wasn't intentional. I was charged with the wrong offence and I am going back to launch an appeal."
Smith appears determined to go back to the UK, but there is a snag that might yet delay his return.
To leave the north he must cross the border to the Greek south, where he can expect to be arrested by the Cypriot police who hold a European Arrest Warrant for him and his partner.
But because his passport and North Cyprus visa have expired, he fears the Turkish border guards will arrest and jail him for document violations before he can cross to the Greek side.
He cannot understand why the High Commission, based in the south, cannot simply send a diplomatic car to pick him up.
The High Commission says it cannot help him in the north because there are no diplomatic relations and he will have to take his chance crossing the border.
Smith is considering his options, but says he does not want to be thrown into a Turkish jail and that might yet keep him here a while longer.
what do you think?
Ver suspicious of his motives for returning. We will probably find he has some serious disease or condition that he wants treated free on the NHS. Or am I just a cynical old sod
no i agree, weird. he.s been there for six years. better than prison i.d of thought.But he stuck there i suppose, cant travel or visit family
And don`t forget that you cant get Jobseekers allowance in Northern Cyprus.
Well, I must be a cynical sod too....not old though lol