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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 17:10 GMT
Fears for jailed Briton's health
Iris Baker is worried about her son's mental health
The mother of a Gloucestershire man jailed in Japan for drugs charges says she is concerned for his health after he started an eighth appeal on Tuesday.

Nick Baker, 34, from Stroud, says he was duped into carrying the ecstasy tablets and cocaine.

His latest appeal against conviction was adjourned in Japan until April.

Iris Baker said: "I'm very concerned about his health, he's been vomiting blood and is suffering from very severe back pain."

Ms Baker, who lives in Wiltshire, says she first raised fears about her son's health in July 2004, when she said his eyesight and hearing were failing.

Speaking on Tuesday, she said she was now also worried about his mental health.

Solitary confinement

"I'm concerned about his mental state also as he has been in solitary confinement for the last three years," she said.

Baker was jailed for 14 years and fined 25,600 in June 2003, after more than 40,000 ecstasy tablets and nearly a kilo of cocaine was found in a suitcase at Tokyo's Narita Airport.

During Tuesday's appeal hearing, Mr Baker was questioned directly by the presiding judge.

He was asked about the actions of his travelling companion James Prunier and a trip the duo undertook to Amsterdam prior to flying to Japan.

Mr Baker's lawyer then presented new evidence to the court.

The hearing was adjourned until 19 April.

Suicide verdict

Mr Baker's previous hearing in January was attended by Sabine Zanker, a lawyer from the legal rights organisation, Fair Trials Abroad.

Ms Zanker said that the investigation period and Baker's original trial "had been a mistrial of justice" due to the poor quality of interpretation, the fact that he was made to sign documents he could not read and that he was told he would be freed if he signed.

Baker has always claimed the suitcase containing the drugs belonged to Mr Prunier, who fled the airport when he was arrested.

Mr Prunier, also from Stroud, was later detained and was awaiting trial in Belgium for similar offences when his body was found on a railway line in Gloucester last August.

A jury inquest into Mr Prunier' s death recorded a suicide verdict

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09 Feb 05 |  Gloucestershire
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18 Aug 04 |  Gloucestershire
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17 Jun 04 |  Gloucestershire

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