Barnsley man wrongly accused of sunglasses theft locked up in Egypt

Tommy Greenhalgh, from Barnsley
Tommy Greenhalgh, from Barnsley

A father-of-two was locked up in an Egyptian jail for two days – after being wrongly accused of stealing a £3 pair of sunglasses.

Tommy Greenhalgh, aged 33, from Barnsley, thought he was never going to see his family again after being arrested at the hotel where he was staying with his family in Sharm-El-Sheikh.

He was accused by another guest of taking the shades, which he had actually bought on a previous holiday to Turkey.

Tommy was freed only when his girlfriend Lyndsey Greenhalgh scraped together £2,000 in cash for a lawyer, who proved his innocence by showing a court a previous picture of him wearing the fake Ralph Lauren glasses.

He described the ordeal – being forced to sleep in a cockroach-infested cell with 30 other non English-speaking inmates – as a ‘nightmare’.

Tommy, a call centre worker, said: “It was absolute hell. Everyone was speaking Arabic and I had no idea what was going on. They just kept mentioning my sunglasses and asking if I’d stolen them.”

The ordeal began when an Egyptian man accused Tommy of theft as he lounged around the pool at the four star Aqua-Blu Hotel with Lyndsey and the couple’s two children.

After being arrested he later appeared in court, where he was found guilty of theft.

Lyndsey, also a call centre worker, described the £5,000 trip as the worst holiday of her life.