Shivaun Patra Orton arrested with Malaysian husband
He claims he deliberately got her addicted to drugs to stop her leaving him
Couple have two sons, 14 and 16
The daughter of a leading British nuclear physicist is facing the death penalty after being arrested for drug trafficking in Malaysia.
Shivaun Orton, 41, was held after police found £16,000 of cannabis, amphetamine, ecstasy and heroin during a raid on a holiday resort she runs with her Malaysian husband.
The mother of two teenage sons, Miss Orton is the daughter of the late Mike Orton – an eminent health scientist who worked at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston, Berkshire, for 36 years.
Arrested: Shivaun Orton, seen here with one of her sons, was arrested along with her Malaysian husband Abdul Harris Fadilah
She grew up in the pretty Welsh coastal town of Harlech.
It is understood Mr Orton and his wife, Shirley, 67, were estranged from their daughter, who police yesterday described as a heroin addict.
Mr Orton – who died aged 72 – attempted to make contact with his daughter before his death from cancer in April last year, but failed.
Her parents had not spoken to her for more than five years.
Possession or dealing of cannabis, amphetamine and ecstasy carries a sentence of life imprisonment in Malaysia, but possession of more than 15 grams of heroin carries the death penalty. Execution is by hanging.
Father: Mike Orton was a prominent nuclear physicist who died in April 2009
It is understood Miss Orton admitted five cannabis plants found in her bedroom were hers and for personal consumption only, but denied possession of the heroin.
Reports in Malaysia suggested her husband, Abdul Harris Fadilah, 46, who has also been arrested, confessed that the 225 grams of heroin seized by police was his.
He claimed to have got his wife hooked on the Class A drug after she threatened to leave him and return to the UK.
The couple, who have two sons, aged 14 and 16, run the Ranting Resort, offering £15-a-night backpacker bungalows on the beach in the eastern town of Cherating, on the border of Pahang and Terengganu states. They are being held in Kemaman police station in Terengganu on suspicion of drug dealing and have been remanded in custody until Sunday.
Officers from the Malaysian narcotics investigation department raided the resort following a tip-off from a member of the public.
Speaking from her bungalow in Harlech, Mrs Orton – who has two other daughters and a son – said last night: ‘I do not know what to do. The Foreign Office have not yet informed me.
‘I have had no contact with my daughter for over five years.
‘She had been taking drugs and was psychotic, but before he died my husband tried to make contact with her but was unsuccessful. We did not even have a phone number for her.’
Canon Tony Beacon, vicar of St Tanwg’s, the parish church close to the family home, said Miss Orton had not lived in the area for many years. ‘It’s unbelievable,’ he said. ‘I know Shirley and her husband Mike used to be my church warden. He died suddenly last year of cancer.
‘They are most helpful and joined in everything, getting very involved in local activities.
‘Mike used to work with the Scouts for years, and as well as church warden served on committees for the well-being of Harlech. Shirley has been very involved with us at the church as well. They are a very nice family. This is a blow, I think people here will be quite shattered.’
Drugs raid: Beach bungalows at the Ranting Resort in Cherating, Pahang State, Malaysia, that the couple ran and where they were arrested
Chief superintendent Roslan Abdul Wahid, head of the Terengganu narcotics investigation department, said it was the biggest drugs bust in the area for three years.
‘Initial investigations show the couple have been hard-core addicts for almost 15 years,’ he said. ‘We believe they started distributing drugs during the past ten years.
‘The cannabis plants alone carry a sentence of life imprisonment. If the heroin, after analysis, tests positive, then anything over 15 grams carries the death penalty.’
Fadilah is Miss Orton’s second husband. She married her first, Olivier Lavaud, in 1990 in London, aged 20 – but the union failed and she moved to Malaysia.
She and Fadilah ran a business renting out backpacker bungalows in Cherating, a beautiful area of palm tree-lined beaches about five hours drive from Kuala Lumpar. It is the site of a cultural village and turtle sanctuary.
Mr Orton was a health physicist at Aldermaston. He retired at 56 and went on teach information technology at two further education colleges before his death.