A BRITISH great-granddad was thrown in jail while on holiday in Spain after cops mistook him for an internationally wanted drugs kingpin.
Eddie Gossage, 68, from Kirkby, Merseyside, was locked up for eight days after police were convinced he was Michael David Phillips, who escaped prison in 2013.
The railway worker told the Mirror he was stopped by border police at Palma Airport in Majorca last month while with his 70-year-old wife Brenda.
After being questioned, they were allowed to go to their hotel – but the following morning cops showed up at their room and Mr Gossage was put in handcuffs.
Mr Gossage said: “My wife was very upset, she was screaming and shouting. I was saying, ‘what is happening?’”
He was taken to a police station, where officers photographed and fingerprinted him before he was made to appear in court the next day.
Police believed he was Phillips, who absconded from Hatfield jail in South Yorkshire during a temporary release having served seven years of a 16-year sentence for supplying heroin.
It’s claimed that while on the run the 63-year-old fugitive, who’s on Interpol’s most wanted list, managed to steal Mr Gossage’s identity and use him as an alias.
The innocent grandfather said: “I kept saying, ‘No, I’m Edward Gossage’.”
But his protests were ignored and he was taken to Palma prison where he was given an ID card with his photo but said his name was Michael Phillips.
Mr Gossage told the prison officer: “That’s my face, mate, but not my name, I’m not signing that.”
But he was thrown into a cell alongside a Ukrainian man who spoke no English, where he was left for eight days.
His daughters Amanda and Jenny flew out to Spain and contacted a solicitor and the British consulate, saying if they didn’t help he would “come out in a box”.
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Mr Gossage was eventually released after the case was flagged to the National Crime Agency and officials realised the mistake.
He has now returned home but has since suffered from bad health and been referred to a counsellor due to flashbacks from his ordeal.
The NCA has said bungling Spanish police are responsible for putting him behind bars after distributing the real wanted lag’s details.
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