Alleged British 'drug smuggler' escapes death penalty in Egypt

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

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

An Egyptian court on Tuesday convicted a British woman of smuggling hundreds of powerful painkillers into the country, sentencing her to three years in prison.

Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested on October 9 at Hurghada International Airport on the Red Sea after police reportedly found 290 tablets of tramadol in her suitcase. Plummer's family said she did not realize Tramadol was illegal in Egypt when she chose to bring the pills to help with her husband's chronic back pain, which she obtained from a friend, the BBC reports.

Her family said she was "sleep deprived", "visibly nervous" and "upset" to the extent that the presiding official had to call a halt to proceedings.

Laura Plummer, left, was sentenced to prison time for smuggling drugs into Egypt that she claimed were for her boyfriend Omar Caboo, at right.

Her family have insisted she has been treated fairly by the Egyptian justice system, which will today decide whether to postpone her hearing or accept a bail offer. Her mother, Roberta Sinclair, was in Hurghada for the trial.

Plummer has said she had no idea the painkiller is illegal and banned in Egypt. "I'm even more anxious now she's in actual prison with real criminals".

"My mums obviously devastated".

Plummer met her partner Aziz, also known as Caboo, three years ago in Sharm El Sheikh where he was working as a lifeguard.

The shop worker added she had been given the tablets by a colleague and had just been "daft" by putting them in her suitcase before travelling. "We're just hoping. Even half of that (three years' imprisonment) would be better".

Her lawyer Mohamed Othman said a plane ticket which showed she paid twice as much for her flights as the drugs were worth shows she was not looking to sell them. "She doesn't deserve that".

She said her daughter was being held in bad conditions in a cell with no beds, sharing with up to 25 other women.

According to The Guardian, Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson has told Plummer's MP Karl Turner that he will do everything possible to help Plummer and her family.

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

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