Upon completion on an MSc in Computer Science I went to work for a university in Chengdu, China teaching computer science to undergraduate students. Following this, in 2004 I went to Guyana, South America, as a Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) volunteer where I worked developing databases for the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
At the end of my two years voluntary service I continued to work in Guyana and became the Head of IT for the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission. I worked for the commission until April of 2007 when I accepted a three-month posting in Iraq with an international IT consulting firm called BearingPoint.
I arrived in Baghdad on the 2nd of April 2007 with my main job being to develop spending reports from the computer system used within the Ministry of Finance. Additional aspects of the job were to train the Ministry of Finance programming team and to develop database systems for a government employee census and procurement procedures.
On the 29th of May, 2007 about a hundred Iraqi police officers from the Ministry of Interior entered the building and took away myself and four British guards. A fifth British man (Peter Donkin) was hidden by his Iraqi co-workers under a false floor in the computer room. We were transported down to the Basra area in false compartments of Bedford trucks.
For six months I was moved around meeting up with the other British guards. In December of 2007 I was separated from the other Britons and was held with two Americans (Sergeant Al Tate and Michael Chand). In June of 2007 I was transported back to Baghdad and this was the last time I had contact with any of the other hostages.
In May of 2009 the number two commander of the militia (Laith Al Khazlli) was released from US custody in exchange for the bodies of two of the British guards. In September over one hundred militia were released in exchange for the body of one of the guards.On the 30th of December 2009, 946 days (or 2 years, 7 months and 1 day) after I was captured, I was released in exchange for the militia leader Qais Al Khazlli. The last of the hostage’s bodies were eventually handed over in 2012.