Glendairy Prison To Go Under The Microscope

national_geographicNational Geographic’s award-winning “Locked Up Abroad” TV series will feature an episode documenting a true-life tale of a tourist (Zara Whittaker) being arrested and imprisoned in Barbados. No info yet on what the specific circumstances are, but it could be interesting. Watch on National Geographic channel at 10pm EDT on Wednesday 22 July.

“Zara Whittaker, from an impoverished family in Southeast London, left behind her months-old baby to go to Barbados and smuggle cocaine back. She never thought anything could go wrong — her partner in crime had done it 12 times before. Once in Barbados, she found out she was pregnant with her second baby, but felt that shed spent too much of the drug dealers money to pull out. Stopped by the police at the airport, Zara was given a five year prison sentence. She gave birth in Barbados, and after three heartbreaking months, had to give the baby up.”

We hope our BU family watches the show and let us share in the discussion about any conclusions drawn. Thanks to all the BU family members who have emailed their interest!

  • It seems National geographic has released a preview of the video.I also find it interesting that someone has been able to smuggle Cocaine through Barbados to the UK without airport security noticing anything.

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  • Here is the link posted on the National Geographic Channel.
    Thought the Customs/Police sniffed the luggage etc.

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    A message from Zara Whittaker

    …….”i have been trying to find about some of the fellows that were n glendairy at the same time as myself who i ussed to communicate with i dont no if you would know them or there where abouts at this time there names were davidson joseph,roger thomas and carline payne (aka romeo) all so if you ever happen to see any of the female officers ms best miss ifill both ms moores and ms connell tell them i say hi and so does lil joshua.” …….

    If any readers know any of these people please pass on the greetings from Zara.

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  • @CCC

    Hope you sent Zara the blog link to get her first hand perspective!

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  • donald duck esq

    We don’t have the “Barbados general hospital” that is seen in the clip anymore.

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  • Sir Bentwood Dick

    Jay wrote ‘I also find it interesting that someone has been able to smuggle Cocaine through Barbados to the UK without airport security noticing anything’

    No, I was told in the UK, that Barbados was, I am not sure if still, a major transhipment point.

    Ya tink some a de riches dat be here just come bout so?

    Nah man.

    One time, I even see a bajan fella liming in a square in central London pon de phone, same fella I us-ed tuh see liming bout Accra, also much pon de phone.

    Mine you, he could jess been callin he women.

    Maybe.

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    “Hope you sent Zara the blog link to get her first hand perspective”

    Yes I did.

    I might as well tell you now , there is a Glendairy survivor group on facebook. There are other former inmates as part of this group. Zara is only of them. I got an invitation to join from Terry Donaldson the former inmate who wrote “Hell in Barbados”.

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  • It seems Ms. Whittaker made a comment on the Nation news site.

    http://www.nationnews.com/news/local/loocked-up-abroad-copy-for-web

    “locked up abroad in barbados : 7/20/2009
    hi everyone before the show is aired i would like people to no that i didnt do this show tto give barbados a bad name or to make people feel sorry for me i done it in hope that i could stop another person making the same misake prison life wasnt easy but i done the crime and i done my time.
    zara whittaker”

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  • hi everyone i see that u are all looking forward to the show on wednesday i wish i could say that for all but thats life i havent give barbados a bad name in the show they were not my intentions they were to try stop someone from making the same mistake due to my stupid mistake i missed out on a lot of precious time with my kids time that i cant ever replace but i put it all down to experience and dont dwell on it i commited a crime and served my time now im home making up for lost time well i hope you all enjoy the show and look forward to any feedback godbless and take care to all

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  • Hi Zara

    Was there homosexual behaviour practiced at the prison that you observed?

    Was there fraternization between the prisoners and warders.

    Did you see evidence of drugs being used/sold?

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  • Hi david
    yes there was homosexual behaviour within the prison on both the male and female prison although i am made to believe it was a lot worse on the male side.we did not have male officers in the female section men worked with the men women with the women i did see evidence of drugs in the prison but they were presciption drugs eg valium sleeping pills and other pills that gave u a happy feeling but this was within my first couple of days and the package was caught by an officer from that day there was nothing within the female prison

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  • Thanks Zara, what was you impression on how the warders felt about Colonel John Nurse?

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  • to be honest david i was to believe that since john nurse had taken over he had improved the prison he had teachers come in for classes and we also had meny activities in the female prison

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  • Thanks Zara, we know he has pushed for improved conditions for inmates BUT the question is how did the warders feel about the changes implemented by Nurse.

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  • if the officers had issues with the improvements john nurse made or john nurse himself they kept between themselves as officers

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  • Very touching. You did your time. I hope you can teach your sons a life lesson. No judgment from me. All the best, from a Bajan.

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  • The shot of the outside of the Bridgetown Hospital was ridiculous!

    The scenes of the female section of the prison at Glendairy were fairly realistic from my recollection of visiting that section of the prison, when I used to act as MO back in the 80’s & 90’s.

    Have they changed the uniforms for the female warders?

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  • Funny thing, I’m sitting here watching Zara’s story on the tele right now. Hope everything is going well for you now Zara.

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  • hi everyone thank you for watching the show i do hope you enjoyed it judy thank you so much for your comment i share my experience with the younger generation in hope i can stop someone makin the same mistake and to the poster named as myself its hard to just settled back in to life when so much around you has changed but im doing well im home with my children and have another baby and am now making something of my life again thank you for watching and for your kind comments god bless

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  • How do you think they suspected you at the airport? Everything looked quite routine and there were no signs that you should have been pulled aside.

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  • Yeah, they didn’t really mention any details about how you got pinched. Did they ever tell you why you were searched? I just can’t get over what must have been going through your mind as you were getting caught. That had to be about the scariest thing imaginable. Thanks for sharing your story with the world! Hopefully you were able to make that 10K off the show at least!! Best wishes!

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    It was a tip off.

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  • The other ridiculous thing about the show was the scene with the sentencing in what one presumes to be a magistrates court

    Having given evidence in every court in Barbados, I can assure you that that “court room scene ” was very bogus and not representative of any court in Barbados.

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  • I can corroborate that, GP. I found that the message of the show got through…avoid being a mule. But the package was laughable at times…the laughter of the Customs officer when the drugs were discovered, the presence of the male policeman during the strip search, the insistence on “what do you have to declare”, the removal of the bags without reason…

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  • Must agree with your additional observations Themis.

    Producers of the show could easily have got these things correct.

    As though they seemed to project as twits.

    I dont particularly care about the story or two stupid English women who tried to smuggle drugs out of Barbados.

    But I do care about Barbados being portrayed acurately.

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  • wait barbados had a prison who glendairy i thought dat bun down so where de other priosn

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  • did the other woman went to jail with u
    zara

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  • The story was great but i did not like some of the portrayals of Barbados. QEH was called I think, st. michael general hospital and was a red brick building. the magistrate’s court too was laughable. As highly developed as Barbados is, some countries still seem hell-bent on wanting others to believe that our development can not be compared to theirs.

    In watching the story, it seems that Zara was caught because Customs had been observing the older lady all along. She had told Zara that she had brought drugs from Barbados 12 times before. however, I like the fact that zara was reunited with her sons. she was very young and naive. i hope she does not let that deter her from visiting Barbados as a tourist some time in the future.

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  • what happened to maggie?
    congrats on being reunited with your boys and God bless your mum.

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  • I found the Facebook page referred to in earlier notes. Reading all the articles and seeing all the photos in associated articles and the TV Documentary was a bit overwhelming. Was in Glendairy Prison 1972 when I was 16 years old. All these years later I can still remember the smells, the sounds…. and most of all the fear. Take Care all of you !! You are in my thoughts….

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  • Were you a Bajan? I never knew you could be in Glendairy at that young an age. I thought it would be at the female equivalent of Dods.

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  • I was 16 and my girlfriend was 18… they discussed having ME moved but they never did… I think they just decided it was better to keep the 2 of us together @ Glendairy Prison… both of us Canadians, blue eyed blondes….so we weren’t hard to find at any time… I wouldn’t want to have been seperated from her … we would sing to each other at night when we were most afraid… until one of us would eventually drift off, of course we were separted by the cell walls but we felt less alone somehow…

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  • What were you afraid of? I would have been 13 yrs in 1972 and I am a white, seventh generation Bajan. What were you accused of? How long were you in Glendairy?

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  • Judy: I am not sure if everyone here wants to hear the details of what happened with Jeannie & I in 1972…
    National Geo’s report was on more “current” state of foreign prisons.
    In short summation, I was eventually found not to be guilty and my girlfriend was found guilty and sentenced to a term in Gelndairy prison. My stay was but for a few months before we went before the Magistrate together. The conditions in Glendairy Prison in 1972 were fearful for anyone/everyone. Keep in mind National Geo didn’t do an expose of what it was like some 30+ years ago…. to me it appeared the prison when Zara was there was improved greatly. … sad to say…

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  • @Nancy: “Judy: I am not sure if everyone here wants to hear the details of what happened with Jeannie & I in 1972

    I’m also not sure if everyone here wants to hear the details.

    But I personally (and I suspect many others) would definitely like to.

    Please share what you know.

    Kindest regards.

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  • Att: Zara
    The book you referred to on the Facebook page entitled “The Zara Whittaker Story ” is being sold on Amazon.com and many other places as well. If you did NOT participate in the publication of this book and it is “total fabrication & lies” you can certainly go after the publishers. You know the Author… Terrence Donaldson.
    The first page of the book (as seen on Amazon.Com) reads…
    “Nightmare in Barbados” by Zara Whittacker….. assisted by Terrance Donaldson.
    I have included the link for you..
    http://www.amazon.com/Zara-Whittaker-Story-terence-donaldson/dp/1409280403

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  • how much did you get paid for making the programme?

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  • Hi Zara, I’m from Asia and I just watched the episode and was moved by your strength and determination to reunite with your boys. Five years is a long time. Take care.

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  • can anyone tell me how many children Zara had in prison me and my wife watched the tv show and we are sure it was just one but her mate reckons Zara had two kids in pirson ?

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  • Dear Zara,
    Greetings here from the Netherlands.
    How are you?
    Tonight I watched the Nat.G. show “locked up abroad”.
    I was very touched by it. Very touched.
    I am so proud of you, so proud that you came through all of this.
    Please drop me a line, I would love to hear more about you and your story.

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  • Zara, it is me again, I was not sure whether you could see my mail adress. Greetings, Gert-Jan. My mail adress is: ponty-curee@live.nl

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  • this is zara;s mum she had 1 baby in barbados

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  • Maggie was released at the same time as Zara. She mentioned this in the show’s website. They are not in contact.

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/locked-up-abroad/4389/zara-questions-and-answers

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  • Zara,
    What happened to the older lady? Did she also go to prison? Is she back to England? Did you get married to the father of your children?

    Glad you are home with your family! Good luck.

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  • You’re a drug smuggler. I wish they had given you life.
    Most criminals regret their behavior when they’re busted.
    What a dumb story.
    She’s a criminal.

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  • serpico i got mixed up wen i was young and made a mistake i do regret wot i done but use my experiance to help others not do do the same thing i do hope u never find urself in trouble as whos no u might get life how u can wish that on sum1 is beyond me but what u sow is what u reep

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  • sara you was silly and made a mistake and paid the price Hopfully the mesage will get though to others
    Hope you and your family all the best

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  • hi my so called name is maggie im the one that got arrested with zara. i knew zara be for we went to barbados i was no stranger to her why is she saying i picked her of the street that is a lie and saying what went on in barbados with drugs and having sex with lots of men that is all lies i dont take drugs or go with any tom dick or harry see no one know’s zara like i do she tell’s alot of lies. i have seen zara a few times if i would have nown what she had said about me in her story i would have made a comment but now that i do know what a lier she is. people will know the truth

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  • zara had the chance not to do it and she said she need’s money for her baby that she was carrying and she wanted to get a car for her boyfriend.if you want to no the truth just ask.

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  • mary deadman (aka) maggie

    zara should be telling the truth

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  • mary ur name was not used in the show 4 legal reasons as every1s names were changed apart frm mine n the shit but u sleepin wiv guys wernt said by me it was a guy called terry donaldson who tryed to write a book in my name and i got legal action goin on this as u wernt the only who he portrayed to look bad i have no problems wiv any of u and dont blame none of u for my gettin caught and the show was about what it was like to have a baby in prison that was all they were intrested in nothin else thats why there was nnothin about the riot or anything like that i aint a liar and told of what it was like to have a baby in jail

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  • mary deadman (aka) maggie

    how can you blame anyone but yourself you wanted to go you knew of the risk

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  • mary deadman (aka) maggie

    when i came out to glendairy prison after a few weeks she came to my daughter and her boyfriend flat to see me and my family.and she said im having anthere baby. i thought she said that she ant going back with him.but my son and doughter did see alot of zara thats becouse my doughter live up stairs from zara. me and my family nown zara for years my name was called maggie.but my real name is mary deadman what i did was very wrong i payed the price for what iv done. i ant no big timer. i dont drink or take any drugs at all. iv never have and i never will. you wanted to no where maggie was. im here john joe

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  • Mary wasnt zaras boyfriend ur nephew?? zara did say she wasnt goin bk 2 him but hey she wanted a proper family her her kids and the kids dad i dont no y u tryin to make zara look bad all the time she was young and made a mistake like we all did and now we can only move forward i have seen zara since she has been home and her and the children are doing very well zara has got bk on her feet and is enjoyin every second of mother hood

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  • mary deadman (aka) maggie

    yes. i am for real. you dont know zara. i have nown zara for years. so i dont care about your comment all i care about is the truth. just read zara’s book

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  • lol mary u told us all in jail that u didnt no zara to well b4 u came she was ur nephews girlfriend who u had seen a few times and i have seen the book it wasnt wirtten by zara it was a guy called terry donaldson and as she has put in her comment she is pursuing legal action on the book coz it is all a load of shit she was da first person to say that it even makes her to b a drug taker and all kinds of shit i dont care if u dont like comment mary stop tryin to make people look bad coz u wernt an angel u sayin people need to no the truth but how bout if every1 new the truth about u remember mary we all no things about each other

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  • yes we all know things about each other. dont we zara p.s now stop playing silly games

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  • look mate ive know zara 4 fucking years and dat woman is no good im telling you .
    you all think you no her she is nuffink and a nobody.
    a trouble maker point blank dats y ma cuz left her and ova resons

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  • pmsl mary u think its zara playin silly games but the only 1 playin silly lil games is u and urs and marys son zara is more then yous lot will ever b she has come far since leavin that hell hole and ur cuz was just a cheating prick he done it while she was in there and then again wen she came home goin wiv sum1 she nos and havin them both pregnant at the same time now thats sum1 thats a nothin and a nobody

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  • and? what has your ex-boyfriend have anything to do with the lies you tell. zara you are a tramp look at ulswaters house iv seen it zara you might fool some people but reamber zara iv seen the way you treat your kids and not even keeping your place clean.44 harold estate you are known as a lie and a slag you have been with nearly every boy on harold estate so dont come all miss goodie two shoes and as for you people feeling sorry for zara. all i can say is you are being taken in and i fill sorry for you

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  • my cuz left her coz ov da trampyness and about ma mums goin nowere r u dumb mate ma mumz got everything she can ever want and can ever need she aint needing 2 go on tv just 2 get some dollar (PMSL) look leaving a lambs head in da frontroom for 3 month and smoking drugs around da kids.
    NOW TELL ME SHE ALL SWEET AND INNOCENT
    SWEET AS MATE LMFAO

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  • ZARA. LOVE GLENDAIRY PRISON HER BOYFRIEND ROMEO WAS THERE TOO HIS FROM BARBADOS SHE FELL HEAD OVER HILLS IN LOVE WITH HIM AND SHE DONT EVEN NO HIM. AND OTHERE BOYFRIENDS. ONE OF HER BOYFRIEND WAS IN PRISON FOR RAPING A 16 YEAR OLD GIRL THIS WAS HIS SECOND TIME IN PRISON ( FOR RAPE) I WOULDNT TRUST HIM NEAR MY CHILDREN

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  • what a joke lol u talkin bout guys she spoke to in jail her boyfriends pmsl zara is wiv sum1 now that loves and supports her all the way and treats the kids as his own she is doin so well 4 herself and if any1 believes shit like that there just plain stupid and nieve

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  • WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHEN SHE WAS IN PRISON. LETS LEAVE IT THERE I KNOW WHAT I KNOW

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  • she new there was a baby in side her. but yet she still carrid drugs. and what about the othere child didnt he matter

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  • Hi! I have just seen the document and felt so relieved that Zara got back with his kids.
    There are so many cruel things happening .Leave her alone,let her get on with her life and I just feel sorry for Maggie not calming down-with her age and doing silly things…
    She done it 12 times-shame and still wishes to keep talking like we should all listen to her…

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  • Hi – i watched this episode last night – and as a mother myself I really cried when I watched how your baby was with you give birth and being all alone. I cried so much – I felt so hurt for you and your baby. everyone makes mistakes and I coluld also understand your desperation for the money anf fear of pulling out at the last minute – and being pregnant on top of everything – I can’t imagine how you must have felt. – But it all ended well and I am glad for you

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  • julia who are you to say that i went 12 time your having a laugh iv only done it once you my not listen. but othere people will trust me on that one the truth need to be told and it will be told my me mag

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  • john nurs said to all the inmat in the army camp we couldnt have no mail. or phone call to our family. i think that was wrong. there had being a firer in glendairy.and the first thing you want to do is tell your family that you are alright. but he didnt care that why most of the inmat was so depress not hearing there family

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  • mary deadman ex-prisoner in glendairy prison from 2003 to 2006

    when we all went to the army camp thay treated us good. giving us good meal to eat. but there was a few guards that didnt like us eating the good food. she put a stop to that. we could have what ever we wanted but she mad all of us put the food back. i hope god is waching her.there wasnt one. there was a few guards like that. thay are the ones make our life hell. one of them was farrel. she a crawe lady. i want to thank the army people for being good to us thay were doing a better job. then the guard.s thay dont have a clue

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  • zara why are you telling lies to my kids. saying you went with my husband there dad also saying you finger me in prison what kind of a mothere are you to be talking like this and saying that my husband ant the father of my son how dare you and cunting of my grankids you are sick. and saying you had sex with my son on facebook

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  • we all no that those messages r not frm zaras facebook they r a fake profile made up by ur nephew and his gf u always tryin to belittle zara and make her to b a trouble maker but we can all clearlt c by ur messages that u r the one that is a trouble maker y cant u all just let the girl got on wiv her life wiv her kids and grow up and be the adults that u ment to b insted of actin like a bunch of kids

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  • pmsl zara sayin she slept wiv ya husband n son now thats sumthin worth loling about and cuntin off ya grankids the only 1s low enought to cunt off kids r yous lot i seen all da messages frm ya nephew n his gf on zaras facebook ur all low lifes wot if every1 new da truth n da whole truth about wot zara been thru wiv ur family since she been out u try make urselfs look all inocent but ur not and wot goes around comes around u need to remember that

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  • to mary i am related to zara. we never meet. i dont have nothing to do with zara cos she is to much truble and tells to many lies. i fill sorry for my aunt she bringing up zara kids whill she just sit back smoking puff she dont do nothing she dont clean the flat nor bath the kids that is why i fil sorry for you because i know how much zara can ballshit she good at twisting people and making people belive what she is saying zara as aways lied about anything to get what she wants.at the min she is going out with a lad who is on crack. dont worrie mary we know she telling lies about you and your family. and we are not the only people who know she just like to make comment so people fill sorry for her

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  • hello zara i was in glendairy with you and mary deadman i would like to know one thing i watched locked up abroad i could not understand why you twisted the story so much on the program you said mary left you to get on with it and just got involed with the othere inmats i was there so was kath and sue and what you said about mary is total lies you know mary look after you in prison for a whill untill you fuck her off you was the one that fuck her off and got involed with the rest of us not mary i can understand you going on tv to tell the storry if you wanted to tell the storry why did you not tell the truth

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  • mary this is sum1 that was reli in prison wiv u n zara not u n ur own writtin fake messages like ur zaras family ur so perfectic any1 that was in there new that u never looked afta zara it was zaras mum that was lookin afta u and yer her mum did look afta her kids while she was there but zara has her kids and is a wonderful mum and her kids are all doin well n want 4 nothing and ive met zaras family and man ur r a total bullshitter

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  • this a real member of zaras family and i have met mary and her baby father and i no none of my family would wrtie that message mary u really need to grow up and get a life i dont no how any of yous can cunt her off with your backgrounds we all look up to her mum for lookin after her kids while she was in there therse not many mothers that wud that she new her kids were well looked after and provided for while she was there and reguaredless to what she has been through with u and your family since she has been home she has done the best for kids and about her bloke being a crack head never that he looks after her and the kids as his own unlike ur nephew but lets not start on that hey

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