British woman accused of drug smuggling into Egypt jailed for three years

British woman accused of drug smuggling into Egypt jailed for three years

A British woman was sentenced to three years in jail for smuggling painkillers into Egypt. Laura Plummer, a 33-year-old from Hull, a town in Northern England, was flying to vacation with her Egyptian partner in October when authorities found 300 Tramadol tablets in her suitcase.

Shop worker Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested after she was found to be carrying 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase, a painkiller which is legal in the United Kingdom but which is banned in Egypt. She has insisted the Tramadol tablets were for her Egyptian partner, who suffers chronic back pain.

Their mother Roberta Sinclair travelled to Egypt for the hearings.

Both Plummer's family and her lawyer described Plummer's distress, saying that she was crying openly in the courtroom and sleep deprived.

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Tuesday's verdict, which came as a surprise in what was meant to be a session devoted to defense arguments, can be appealed.

Today a court in Egypt handed the British citizen - who had faced a potential death sentence for drug smuggling - a three-year prison sentence.

The family has previously said Plummer had no idea that what she was doing was illegal and was just "daft". I'm even more anxious now she's in actual prison with real criminals.

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

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"Her father said to me "look, the truth is she wouldn't know tramadol from a panadol".

Mr Dia al-Bassal, Ms Plummer's lawyer, said there was a lack of criminal intent because she was unaware that the pills were banned in Egypt. "Anything less than three years".

Tramadol is legal in Britain on prescription, but illegal in Egypt where it is known to be used as a heroin substitute. She's out there by herself. "She doesn't deserve that", she continued.

Her other sister Jayne Synclair said Plummer had only been trying to help her partner. He said the court could also not prove she brought them into the country to sell them.

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The family's local MP Karl Turner said: "I think it's a damning indictment about good sense and fair play".

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