Briton freed from death row has mouth cancer

A Briton who spent 21 years on death row in an American jail has been diagnosed with mouth cancer.

Kenny Richey, 43, wept after doctors told him he was suffering from the disease, but said he was determined to fight the illness so he could return to the US and visit his grandchildren.

Richey, from Edinburgh, told the Scottish Sun: ‘When my specialist told me the tests were positive I just broke down in tears.

‘I had tried to prepare myself for the worst but actually hearing the news was just devastating.

‘After spending 21 hellish years in prison I thought I had been given another chance at life.’

Kenny Richey was freed after reaching a plea deal last year with American prosecutors.

He is now due to have a malignant growth on the inside of his cheek removed next week.

Richey left Scotland at the age of 18 to go and live with his father in Ohio.

The former marine was put on death row in January 1987 after being convicted of an arson attack in which a two-year-old girl died.

He was freed after reaching a plea deal last year with American prosecutors, and has been back in Britain since January.

On his release, Richey, who once came within an hour of execution, was told to stay out of Putney County in Ohio for five years.

He is, however, free to visit other parts of the country and had been planning to visit his son and grandchildren, who live in Minnesota.

Richey has always denied setting fire to the building in which toddler, Cynthia Collins, died.

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