Egyptian Court Jails British Woman for 3 Years Over Painkillers

Casey Dawson
December 28, 2017

Despite her family's best efforts, she has been sentenced to three years to be served at Qena prison just north of Luxor, which houses some of the most unsafe criminals in Egypt.

The woman, 33-year-old Laura Plummer from Hull, has maintained her innocence since her arrest in October on arrival from Britain at Hurghada, a Red Sea resort city.

Plummer's family said she was taking the tablets for her Egyptian partner, Omar Caboo, who suffers from severe back pain, and described her as "naive".

Rachel Plummer said mother Roberta Synclair had been in the Egyptian court for the shock judgment and saw her sobbing daughter being taken away in a "cage".

She was found to be carrying nearly 300 Tramadol tablets in her suitcase, a painkiller which is legal on prescription in the United Kingdom but banned in Egypt.

Local MP Karl Turner said on Tuesday he had spoken to her defence lawyer in Egypt who said Ms Plummer had 60 days to launch an appeal.

'They have slyly taken her to where the British Foreign Office told us she would never be placed - but the Egyptian authorities have already moved her there. We don't even know how to get food to her now.

"'Our biggest fear with this scenario has been confirmed - she will be sharing a tiny cell with jihadi terrorists and rapists".

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The family also explained that Plummer was forced to sign documents in Arabic language, with no explanation of what the documents actually said in English.

She said Laura is covered in mosquito bites, had a scabby face and hair which is falling out. The court appointed interpreter was said to be interpreting the incorrect answers.

She attended her hearing on Monday before she was sentenced on Tuesday.

She wept as she appeared before a judge in handcuffs on Christmas morning and was suddenly handed a three-year sentence for the charge of drug smuggling, the report said.

Rachel said she was unsure of a potential appeal.

"For someone to be found guilty of drug smuggling they have to be aware that they are possessing narcotics", Plummer's lawyer, Mohamed Othman, told Reuters.

Lawyer Mr Osman said: "She was originally facing the death penalty, possibly 25 years".

"I am hopeful that good sense will eventually prevail", he told the BBC.

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