A JUSTICE charity said an Oxfordshire grandfather wrongly imprisoned in Peru for drug smuggling was held in “appalling conditions”.

Alan Rae, 40, right, from Faringdon, was in jail for two years and missed the birth of his first grandchild after his travel companion was arrested with 12.3kg of cocaine in his suitcase.

The Oxford Mail broke the news in January 2010 how Mr Rae and Abingdon man Nathan Brandon had been arrested at Lima Airport on drug smuggling charges.

Last year Brandon was sentenced to 12 years and Mr Rae was given 14 following their arrest in April 2009.

But Mr Rae appealed and was cleared of the charges this week.

He could be home in time for his daughter Lorna’s 15th birthday tomorrow and the birth of his second grandchild.

He was helped by legal charity Fair Trials International.

Caseworker Rebecca Shaeffer said: “Alan’s case demonstrates serious problems with the justice system in Peru.

“It took well over a year and a half for it to be heard, he has been held in appalling prison conditions and found it almost impossible to access legal advice.

“Alan has always maintained his innocence – and his co- defendant took full responsibility for the drugs that were found.

“We are delighted that the courts have acquitted Alan of all charges and that he is free to come back home to his family.”

Mr Rae’s partner Lynn Rae said: “This is the best birthday present our daughter has ever had. We can’t wait to get him home.”

Brandon, a former Tesco worker, rang the Oxford Mail last year and admitted attempting to smuggle the drugs, worth £1m, into London.

The former Oxford and Cherwell Valley College student said a gang offered him £10,000 to take the drugs, and Mr Rae was not involved.