Brit on death row escaped world’s toughest jail using dirty mag and umbrella

A British man who became the first westerner to escape a notorious Thailand jail has described how he made his bid for freedom using just a hacksaw, umbrella and a porn magazine.

David McMillan was facing the death penalty when he made his daring escape out of Klong Prem Central Prison, also known as the "Bangkok Hilton".

Now 65 years old, David was convicted on two narcotics charges for heroin in 1993 and faced certain death unless he pulled off an escape.

The maximum-security jail features electrified concrete walls and a 16-metre moat.

Speaking to The Sun, McMillan said: "I could see the dawn just as I went over the outer wall and just got past the electricity with a few tingles and just dropped down.

"I was going to swim the moat – that was an original plan – but I realised I would be swimming right into where the guards lived so I walked around the front to the main entrance and crossed the little footbridge."

He went on: "I had taken with me an umbrella – a pop-up one, black, which was also in the prison – and had some long khaki pants on the theory that I might look like a guard sneaking in late for work, which they sometimes did.

"Also, escaping prisoners don’t stroll around with an umbrella over their head."

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The "Bangkok Hilton" gained its nickname for being the exact opposite of the five-star hotel chain.

With up to 20,000 inmates, McMillan was packed into dormitories with 150 other people all sharing a single toilet.

The lights would be on 24/7 with noise constantly through both day and night.

Prisoners would be shackled by chains around the ankles.

McMillan eventually paid $200 to move to a more spacious prison cell with his own prison guards and helpers.

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He only hatched his escape plan after a moratorium on the executions of foreign prisoners was removed.

Over the next 18 months, McMillan carefully selected objects for the escape with the help of an accomplice sending items into prison hidden in religious looking materials, while using pornographic magazines as a diversion in the packages.

Following his escape, McMillan then had to escape Thailand and had already paid $1,200 for a fake passport and luggage full of clothes placed into an airport locker.

He purchased a ticket to Singapore in a bid to escape and was forced to stay in Pakistan for a few years before returning to the UK.

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McMillan served time after he returned to the UK when heroin was found sewed into his pocket.

Thai authorities withdrew their request to extradite him during his UK stay in jail and therefore cleared him of the death sentence.

He is currently a free man and installs CCTV after putting drug smuggling behind him.

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