Laura Plummer started dating Omar Caboo four years ago
Laura Plummer started dating Omar Caboo four years ago

‘I can’t do it’: Woman sent to prison hell

A BRITISH tourist jailed for smuggling painkillers into Egypt has been secretly transferred to a jail which is crawling with Jihadi terrorists, her family claim.

Laura Plummer, 33, from Hull, collapsed in court after being sentenced to three years in the notorious hellhole Qena prison after being found with 290 tramadol pills in her suitcase.

Her devastated family, who have described Laura as "naive", say they fear she will die in the infamous jail as the Foreign Office make attempts to move the shop worker to Cairo.

Trembling Laura escaped the death penalty after being found with the pills in her suitcase at Hurghada Airport in Egypt in October, but was told she would still be locked up and was fined £4,205 ($A7249) by the judge.

Today her sister Jayne Synclair has revealed the British foreign office intervened to block Laura being sent to the "dangerous" Qena prison.

But after turning up to visit her daughter at a jail in Cairo her mum Roberta Synclair, 64, discovered Laura has already been moved 150 miles to the notorious hellhole.

Jayne, 40, said: "It's really underhand - my mum went to Cairo to where they were told she would be but when she turned up she wasn't there.

"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.

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

"I honestly dread to think. Laura won't survive a day in there - let alone three years.

"She won't even make it through that - I can't believe they've even still sent her there."

The jail is situated north of Luxor in the strict Arab state and Jayne is fearful that her sister won't make it out alive.

Describing the conditions in the Qena prison, Jayne said: "I've seen pictures and if you kept a dog in there and the RSPCA saw it - you would lose your dog. It's honestly THAT bad."

She said Laura is covered in mosquito bites, had a scabby face and hair which is falling out.

The UK prescription-only Tramadol painkillers are worth only 8p ($A13) each - so Laura would have made just £23.20 ($A39.99).

But, the drug has been placed on a list of Egyptian banned substances since 2015 after it replaced heroin and cannabis as the recreational drug of choice.

Jayne, of Hull, East Yorks., said: "Laura has got three years, but we have got a life sentence with this - our family will never be able to shake this off."

She added: "There was nothing on the travel guide website when visiting Egypt that says you cannot take Tramadol into the country."

Laura told her mum after the verdict: "I thought I was going to be freed - I thought this was the end.

"Everyone was saying how strong my case was and that it was only a matter of time. How can this be happening?

"I can't do three years here, I'm so frightened, I haven't done anything wrong."

Roberta, 63, was in court with Laura's Egyptian husband, entertainment rep Omar Abd El Azim Mohamed Saad, 33.

She said: "The mood was so positive. We were joking and laughing, we thought she'd be freed. Then the judge came back and read out the verdict.

"Laura could hardly stand. She kept saying, 'It can't be right - they've got it wrong'."

Her sister Jayne, 40, told the Mirror: "Now the real hell will begin.

"I will be astounded if we ever get her home. It's terrifying.

She added: "Mum said they threw her in a cage in the courtroom like a dog."

Laura Plummer started dating Omar four years ago. Picture: Supplied
Laura Plummer started dating Omar four years ago. Picture: Supplied

Jayne also fears for her sister's mental health while she's held in the prison, saying: "She is not the strongest person - she's already having a nervous breakdown and is being kicked and punched in the holding prison."

Her distraught sister claims that along with the beating, Laura's cell mates have "stolen everything from her."

Laura has endured three months of hell in the notorious Hurghada women's prison which is infested with rats.

The family have also admitted that Laura is suicidal after sharing a 15ft square cell with 25 other women including murderers, heroin addicts and prostitutes.

The 33-year-old had to use a hole in the ground as a toilet in sweltering 40C heat.

Jayne said: "She's a target in there because she's a foreigner.

"She was being kicked and kicked until apparently the cell leader started watching her."

The inmate who was tasked with looking after Laura is behind bars because she slit her best friend's throat, said the Brit's family.

The sentencing followed farcical scenes in court on Christmas Day when an interpreter wrongly entered a guilty plea on Laura's behalf before the case was finally adjourned.

Laura, from Hull, was held on October 9 as she flew into Red Sea resort Hurghada for a trip to see Omar.

Laura Plummer was meant to see Omar. Picture: Supplied
Laura Plummer was meant to see Omar. Picture: Supplied

Customs officials found 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase and refused to believe they were for her husband's "severe" back pain.

The painkiller, which is a available with a prescription in the UK, is illegal in Eqpyt where it is used as a heroin substitute.

Local media have branded the Brit, who was given the drug by a friend, the "tramadol tourist".

When she was arrested Laura signed a 38-page document in Arabic which she believed would grant her release.

Her lawyer has confirmed that the cost of the tramadol tablets were less than the terrified 33-year-old's plane ticket.

The Brit's legal team were confident her case had been transformed after The Sun tracked down evidence which proved she was telling the truth.

But her sentence could be changed as it progresses through the Egyptian legal system.

Her lawyer Mohammed Osman has launched an appeal but it will not be heard for at least 60 days.

Labour MP Karl Turner said: "I am hopeful that good sense will eventually prevail.

"This is a damning indictment of the Egyptian authorities in that good sense and fairness certainly hasn't prevailed.

"This is a decent woman who has made a terrible mistake. She shouldn't be incarcerated in any prison, never mind an Egyptian prison."

Lawyer Mr Osman said: "She was originally facing the death penalty, possibly 25 years. To go from that to three years is a good result. We will now try to have that reduced."

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.



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