Reformed cocaine smuggler from Sutton helps convicts turn their lives around

Sutton Guardian: Kenny Usman Kenny Usman

A former drug smuggler who has turned his life around is helping other criminals follow his lead.

Sutton man Kenny Usman was jailed for smuggling more than two kilos of cocaine from Brazil into Spain in 2007.

The father of three, now 55, spent three-and-a-half years in prison, including more than a year in a Spanish jail and said the experience changed his life.

Now he is trying to use his experiences of trying to rebuild his life following his jail term by working for the probation service to help other people stay on the straight-and-narrow.

Mr Usman's role includes providing advice to those who are released from prison, meeting offenders from jail and even doing consultations with people who are still in prison over video link.

He aims to tell them how to make sure they can stay out of trouble and give them advice about the resources available to them.

It is a far cry from where the Nigerian-born man found himself seven years ago.

He said: "I went to Nigeria and when I was there someone told me they had a friend in the UK and I could earn £4,500 if I carried something from Brazil to the UK.

"It turned out to be cocaine, two kilos of cocaine. I was arrested at the airport in Madrid and spent one year and eight months in jail in Spain before I was sent to Wandsworth for the rest of my sentence.

"I really regret what I did. it is the only crime I have ever committed but it did terrible damage to my life and it broke my heart to be away from my family.

"All that I lived for in this country was gone and my family had to move to temporary accommodation."

Mr Usman started work with the probation service after his release from jail and said it has changed his life.

He added: "Now, you wouldn't believe I've been to prison. I want to help make sure that other people can cope when they come out of prison and stop them going back there."


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