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Family ‘devastated’ as British woman jailed for smuggling drugs into Egypt

Laura Plummer, 33, from Hull, was arrested after she was found to be carrying 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase.

The family of a British woman accused of smuggling drugs into Egypt have said they are “devastated” after she was jailed for three years.

Shop worker Laura Plummer, 33, from Hull, was arrested after she was found to be carrying 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase, a painkiller which is legal in the UK but which is banned in Egypt.

Ms Plummer’s family said she was taking the tablets for her Egyptian partner Omar Caboo, who suffers from severe back pain and had no idea what she was doing was wrong.

Her sister, Rachel Plummer, confirmed that she had been jailed for three years by a judge when she appeared in court on Tuesday.

She said she did not know the details of a trial had taken place and why the decision had been taken.

Rachel said her mother, Roberta Sinclair, had travelled out to Egypt for the hearing and was “devastated” by the sentence.

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

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

She said the family were planning an immediate appeal.

“We’re just hoping. Even half of that would be better. Anything less than three years,” she said. “She doesn’t deserve that.”

According to a Facebook group set up by her family, Ms Plummer appeared in court in Egypt on Boxing Day a day after she appeared on Christmas Day only for the case to be adjourned because of her condition.

According to the family, Ms Plummer was also fined £4,500. They said her father had already paid out £25,000 to defend his daughter.

The Plummer family has previously said Ms 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.

In a TV interview last month, Mrs Sinclair said her daughter was being held in terrible conditions in a communal cell with no beds, sharing with up to 25 other women.

Ms Plummer is being held in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, where she was arrested at the airport on October 9.

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

Ms Plummer’s local MP Karl Turner said the ruling had come as a devastating blow to her family.

He said her case had been raised with the Egyptian authorities by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt.

“I am hopeful that good sense will eventually prevail,” he told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One.

“This is a damning indictment actually of the Egyptian authorities in the sense that good sense and fairness certainly hasn’t prevailed in this case.

“This is a decent woman who has made a terrible mistake who shouldn’t be incarcerated in any prison, never mind an Egyptian prison.”

Mr Turner, who is Labour MP for Hull East, said he had spoken to Ms Plummer’s defence lawyer in Egypt who said she had 60 days to launch an appeal and he expected that she will.

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