Today's Birthday 7/8

Greta Stonehouse
David Hicks has spoken widely of the torture he endured at US naval base Guantanamo Bay

Today's Birthday, August 7: David Hicks, Australian detained by the US in Guantanamo Bay detention camp, (1975 - ).

David Hicks made headlines around the world in 2002 when he was among the first group of prisoners sent to US naval base Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on terrorism charges.

The Australian was detained for five years, before pleading guilty for attempted murder and providing material support for terrorism. This allowed Hicks to serve his remaining months in prison back in Australia.

His lawyers later argued his innocence, saying he pleaded under duress from years of physical and sexual abuse. His conviction was thrown out in 2015 by the US Court of Military Commissions Review, which stated his activity was not a crime at the time of his capture.

In 2017 Hicks faced a closed court in his hometown of Adelaide on domestic violence charges, which were later dropped.

Hicks was born in the South Australian capital in 1975. His parents separated when he was 10 years old.

He attended Smithfield Plains High School but was suspended in 1990, with his school principal describing him as the "most troublesome kid". Around this time he left home, aged 14.

Over the several years that followed he held different jobs, including skinning kangaroos for an abattoir and rodeo riding.

After he and his partner Jodie Sparrow - the mother to of his children - broke up, he moved to Japan in 1997 to work as a horse trainer.

Two years later he travelled to Albania to link up with the Kosovo Liberation Army. When the Kosovo war ended in June 1999, Hicks returned to Australia and converted to Islam.

At 26, he travelled to Pakistan to continue his studies in Islam, and began training with a terrorist organisation in early 2000.

He travelled to Afghanistan in 2001 for more training. He would later write in his autobiography Guantanamo: My Journey, that he wasn't familiar with the name Al-Qaeda until after his detainment in prison.

He was captured on December 9 2001 and turned over to the US Special Forces for a cash reward.

After five years in Guantanamo Bay, Hicks returned to Australia and was banned from speaking to the media for 12 months.

His father Terry campaigned tirelessly during his imprisonment and has since demanded a formal apology from the Australian government who was heavily criticised at the time for not doing enough.

At 41 Hicks married human rights activist Aloysia Brooks but the couple has since split. He is now rumoured to be engaged to Erin Keniry.