In the first part of a new series of 'A Life Less Ordinary', Sandra Gregory goes back over the coverage of the dramatic events that saw her placed firmly under the media spotlight. In 1993, she attempted to smuggle heroin out of Thailand in a bid to earn enough money to get home to the UK, was arrested and initially faced the prospect of the death penalty. Instead she spent over seven years in prison - first in Bangkok, then in Britain. Gregory talks candidly about the shame she felt upon seeing the TV cameras through the prison bars for the first time, knowing that the pictures would be relayed back home for her family and friends to see. We hear from journalists who visited her during her years in the so-called Bangkok Hilton prison, and she meets one of those columnists who had condemned her actions and shown little sympathy for her situation, given the severity of the crime she'd committed. Gregory also describes how she contemplated suicide while inside, and the mixed feelings she experienced when her parents finally ended their media silence to begin campaigning on her behalf.
At the point when Bosnia and Maastricht were dominating the headlines, the story of one individual's crime and punishment broke through and captured the nation's attention. Now the one person unable at the time to follow the coverage of the story because she was in prison, gets the opportunity to revisit her own story and describe what happens when an ordinary life becomes the subject of massive public and media scrutiny.
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