The longest-serving British prisoner overseas is planning to return to Blackpool and have fish and chips following his release after serving 17 years in Thai jails.

John Davies, who is 66 on May 17 was convicted of trying to sell a large amount of heroin to a police informer in Thailand.

He was sentenced to death after a trial in September 1994, a term later reduced to 25 years in jail.

Campaign group, Fair Trials Abroad has long called for his release saying he was the obvious victim of a "miscarriage of justice".

Family, friends in the UK and Blackpool MP Gordon Marsden have been among many campaigning for his release for a number of years.

Mr Davies, a grandfather of four, arrived back in the UK on Saturday after being released from a Bangkok prison on May 8.

Speaking from London, Mr Davies told the Citizen: "I've had 17 years of my life taken away. I'm feeling conflicting emotions, including relief, anger, weariness, and bitterness.

"I'm gradually getting round to seeing and speaking to all my friends who helped me."

Mr Davies, who before moving to Thailand in 1988 lived on Grasmere Road, added that he was hoping to return to live in a housing association property on Talbot Road and had been dreaming for many years of returning to his home town.

"Never mind the piers, Prom and Tower, I'll know I'm finally home when I see the windmill at the end of the M55," he said.

"I'm looking forward to having some traditional Lancashire fish and chips and a drink at the Philharmonic club in Foxhall Road."

While on Death Row he was shackled with leg irons weighing 33lbs and on some occasions had to share a 26sq metre cell with 23 other prisoners.

Mr Davies, whose Thai wife died while he was in prison, survived a stroke and an infection which nearly led to his foot being amputated. He has an ex-wife, a son and a daughter in the UK.

Chief executive of Fair Trials Abroad, Catherine Wolthuizen said the organisation had supported John since 1994.

She said: "We are delighted to welcome John back and to see him reunited with his family.

"However, we remain outraged at the injustice and hardship he has suffered.

"Despite inconsistencies in police evidence, a failure to produce key evidence and the acquittal of his co-accused, John was found guilty."

Mr Davies left Blackpool in January 1988 and was living in Thailand and had a labour contracting and helicopter servicing business in Thailand when he was implicated in the drug supply plot in 1990.

He claims an official at the British Embassy in Thailand had provided secret evidence to the court, in the form of false statements on Embassy letterheads, including the incorrect statement that he was wanted by British authorities for drugs offences.

Mr Davies said he would seeking compensation from the Foreign Office and hoped that would be through negotiation rather than through the law courts.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said its staff had done all they could to help Mr Davies but could not interfere or become involved in another country's judicial process.

Catherine Wolthuizen added: "That a British national was possibly sentenced to death upon falsified evidence provided by a consular official should be a matter for concern and urgent review at the highest levels of the Foreign Office and British Government."

Mr Davies' release has been welcomed by supporters in Blackpool. Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South said: "I'm very pleased for Alan and his family and friends, many of whom are still Blackpool based.

"We have spent an enormous amount of time campaigning, along with other MPs for Alan's release.

"There is however clearly issues around the conviction and process of appeals which need serious thought and will hopefully be looked at by the Foreign Office."

Author Sebastian Williams has written a two volume book about Mr Davies's plight entitled the Kingdom and I which is to be published soon.