NEWS
26/12/2017 13:15 GMT | Updated 26/12/2017 19:46 GMT

British Woman Laura Plummer Jailed For Three Years In Egypt Over Drug Smuggling Claims

Her family said she was taking tramadol tablets for her partner, who suffers from back pain.

A British woman accused of smuggling drugs into Egypt has been jailed for three years, her family has said.

Shop worker Laura Plummer from Hull, was arrested on 9 October after she was found to be carrying 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase

The painkiller is legal in the UK but banned in Egypt.

Plummer’s family said she was taking the tablets for her Egyptian partner Omar Caboo, who suffers from severe back pain.

They described the 33-year-old woman as “naive”.

According to a Facebook group set up by her family, she appeared in court in Egypt on Boxing Day and was jailed for three years, the Press Association reported.

The court also ruled that she must pay a fine of 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,600), Reuters reported.

The family said her lawyers lodged an immediate appeal.

Plummer appeared in court on Christmas Day but the judge adjourned the case for a day because of her condition, according to her sister, Rachel.

Their mother Roberta Sinclair travelled to Egypt for the hearings.

The Plummer family has previously said Plummer had no idea that what she doing was illegal and was just “daft”.

They said she did not try to hide the medicine, which she had been given by a friend, and she thought it was a joke when she was pulled over by officials after arriving for a holiday with her partner.

Sinclair said her daughter was being held in terrible conditions in a communal cell in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada with no beds, sharing with up to 25 other women.

Plummer’s family said on Tuesday they were disgusted by the way the trial had been conducted.

“From day one, this has been a complete nightmare. Yesterday in the court she wasn’t even allowed her own interpreter. She had to get the court’s interpreter who was interpreting the wrong answers,” her sister Jayne Synclair said, speaking on BBC television.

The family said Plummer had also been forced to sign Arabic-language documents which she did not understand.

“She’s on the verge of a mental breakdown...It’s just horrendous,” her sister said.

Reacting to the news of her sentence, Hull East MP Karl Turner said that Plummer had been naive but was also “decent, honest and hard-working”.

According to the BBC, he said: ”[She was] going to visit her partner in Egypt, taking what she thought was a painkiller and no more than that.

“It clearly is a banned substance and whilst we must respect the law of other countries there must be good sense and fair play as well.”

Her family had been told that she could face up to 25 years in jail, with one lawyer even mentioning the death penalty.

Rachel Plummer said her mother was “devastated” by the sentence.

She said the family were trying to find out more details about what happened in the courtroom on Tuesday.

She said: “My mum’s obviously devastated. She’s out there by herself.”

She added that she did not know whether the appeal would be heard on Tuesday.

She said: “We’re just hoping. Even half of that would be better. Anything less than three years.

“She doesn’t deserve that.”

A spokesman from Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We will continue to provide assistance to Laura and her family following the court ruling in Egypt, and our embassy is in regular contact with the Egyptian authorities.”