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Kidnap victim Philip Morr
15 February 2007
Kidnap victim Philip Morris has spoken exclusively to The Champion about how he has turned his life around since his terrifying abduction in June.

Two months after his release he discovered partner of five years Colette Parsons was seeing someone else and his name hit the headlines again when she filed charges of assault and criminal damage against him.

The charges were dropped on Tuesday (February 6), after hanging over him for six months.

"Everyone around me knew the truth and I always believed justice would prevail," Philip said.

"I felt really let down by the one person I thought wouldn't let me down, but that is part of life and you can't help that. If people don't stick by you at times like that it is their time to go."

Philip and seven colleagues were kidnapped from the oil rig they were working on in Nigeria last summer. They were kept in a jungle hut under armed guard and threatened with death before the Nigerian Government paid the terrorists' ransom.

"It was a hell of an experience and I wouldn't wish it on anybody," Philip, 38, recalled.

"It was a planned kidnap by local terrorists who took us in boats from the rig at 3am.

"The situation was really grave. One minute they'd say we were going to be free then they'd threaten to execute us one by one.

"It never crossed my mind that anything like that might  happen. We were 60 miles from the beach and had a Navy boat alongside the rig.  It never crossed my mind at all."

The experience affected Philip's life in many ways.

"I didn't feel myself when I got back," he said. "I couldn't sleep and had nightmares and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. I felt disconnected and emotionally in a bubble.

"I was short with people, which is not like me. I am not someone who goes for their own way. I like compromise. Friends and family were strained because no one can understand you.  It is only when you're helped professionally you can understand that it is not you - it takes time for you to deal with it."

Philip, originally from Maghull, is adamant he will never return to Nigeria, but says he would still like to travel.

He has renovated his home on Beechwood Drive, Formby, and is now selling up to move away from the area.

He has just received a large settlement from his company for the kidnapping.

"I am just taking things easy at the moment. I have found a nice detached house that I have falling in love with. I am really positive now and making a completely fresh start.

"What happened to me was life-changing but I always look for the positive. I live for every day now - life really is too short. 

"Life is very different for me. I am secure and have got the things I need and I am really, really happy. It has taken me a long time to get better but I am really at my best now.

"My plan for the future is to enjoy life to the full Ð the rest is unknown and I kind of like it like that."


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