CONVICTED former legislator Gilbert Leung Kam-ho is struggling to survive in prison, according to friends and relatives, who have expressed fears his health is deteriorating. The former chartered surveyor is apparently having so much difficulty adjusting to life behind bars, after his formerly luxurious lifestyle, that he frequently breaks down in tears. Leung is suffering from a skin disease, and is said to have lost so much weight after 11 weeks in jail he now looks a shadow of his former baby-faced self. He has been refusing to eat meals during much of his incarceration in the overcrowded Lai Chi Kok reception centre, where he is awaiting an appeal against a three-year jail term for attempted vote-buying. Leung had previously been held in Stanley, where conditions are described as much better. Liberal Party leader Allen Lee Peng-fei, who visited his former colleague in Stanley, said he wrote last week urging Leung to keep his spirits up. ''He burst into tears in front of me when I saw him,'' Mr Lee said. ''He often said he didn't deserve to be in prison. ''It's mostly a psychological problem . . . I'm very sympathetic towards his case. He's made a mistake, but still has a long way to go in his life,'' he said. Other visitors have confirmed Leung still dreams of a political comeback, although he will be barred from public office for 10 years after his release. Leung's wife, Susanna, said she and her nine-year-old daughter missed him very much. ''My daughter often tells me she misses her dad. All I can do is tell her to work hard in school,'' Mrs Leung said. ''She often writes letters and sends pictures to him.'' Mrs Leung said her husband was binding books in prison. His life was described as cold, dirty, and hungry by a close friend who frequently visits him in jail. The friend said Leung did not have enough bedsheets to cover himself at night, and there was often no water to wash with. ''He complained the food was smelly. We tried to persuade him to eat, but he said he could not eat.'' The friend said the overcrowded reception centre was so dirty Leung had become infected with a skin complaint. However, the former legislator's relations with his fellow inmates are described as good. ''Most of the prisoners living with Gilbert were convicted of corruption, including lawyers and bankers. ''They are all very polite and always talk to each other,'' the friend said.