British woman jailed over 'daft' smuggling of painkillers

Laura Plummer left is being held by Egyptian authorities after taking Tramadol into the country

Tramadol is illegal in Egypt and it is widely used as a recreational drug, supplanting heroin and cannabis.

The woman, from Hull, was arrested at the Hurghada worldwide airport on the Red Sea on 9 October.

The 33-year-old claimed she didn't know they were illegal and had taken them for her Egyptian lover Omar Caboo's bad back. Many in Egypt are addicted to the opiate. "She's out there by herself", she said. "Pray and I will pray for you", Mr Bassal told Laura during the break.

"I feel sick - I'm so frightened for her".

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

In an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, Rachel Plummer - Laura's sister - expressed her shock at the final verdict.

Her family said her lawyers had lodged an appeal. Even half of that would be better. "Anything less than three years. She doesn't deserve that", Rachel told the BBC.

She said: "My mum's obviously devastated".

In earlier reports, the cell that Plummer was being held in was described as the size of a bedroom in the United Kingdom, but with 25 people in it.

He said: "Laura, most of all, will be absolutely devastated". She will probably be dead if she has to stay in there for three years.

The painkiller is legal in the United Kingdom but banned in Egypt.

"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", Turner added. Plummer responded yes, which resulted in her plea being recorded as guilty, something her lawyer will contest.

Laura, from Hull, had her trial adjourned yesterday as she wept in the dock after accidentally pleading guilty due to a mix-up with her interpreter. "It's hard and I can't believe it after waiting for two months", she told the BBC.

She said her daughter has now been moved to another police station ahead of her move to prison. "I sat with Laura and informed her that she has to protest against [the mistranslation] tomorrow, and to make this clear in the minutes of the trial session".

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