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Freedom at last

This is Staffordshire, 27th May 2006

Steven Toplass is jailed after being convicted of drug trafficking by a Spanish court. He had been driving back to Britain in a one-off job for a haulier when cannabis worth £1.2 million was found in his lorry. May 2005: Mr Toplass flies back to Britain to serve as a witness against seven drug dealers who pleaded guilty to drugs charges and conspiracy.

Stoke-on-Trent South MP Rob Flello campaigns for Mr Toplass's case to be reviewed in Spain.

November 2005: The Foreign Office intervenes to seek a pardon for Mr Toplass, sending a letter to the Spanish Ministry of Justice.

A Spanish lawyer is appointed to make the application for a pardon after being funded by an anonymous benefactor.

December 2005: Mr Toplass spends his second Christmas in jail due to delays in the legal process.

April 2006: Mr Toplass's fianc??e, Diane Downes, tells The Sentinel she fears he will not be released until the end of his sentence.

May 19, 2006: Mr Toplass is released after receiving a full pardon from the Spanish Ministry of Justice, and returns home to Stoke-on-Trent.

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