A British holidaymaker has spent almost a month in jail for carrying 290 painkillers into Egypt to help ease her husband’s sore back.
Laura Plummer, 33, has been held ever since flying out to the strict Arab country for a two-week break with hubby Omar.
She had laid out 29 packets of Tramadol, each containing 10 tablets, inside her suitcase to give to Omar, also 33, who suffers from bad back pain following a car crash.
However, Laura could be facing up to 25 years in prison and one lawyer during her last court appearance mentioned the death penalty.
She is now currently being held up in a tiny cell with 25 other women, which include prostitutes, drug dealers and murderers.
The prescription-only painkillers are worth only 8p each – so if she wanted to sell them all she would make just £23.20.
However, the drug is on a list of Egyptian banned substances since 2015 after it replaced heroin and cannabis as the recreational drug of choice.
Speaking of Laura’s plight, her youngest sister Rachel Plummer, 31, said: “Tramadol to Laura is just a painkiller – nothing more.
“She’s not the type of girl to commit a crime like this and everyone who knows her can’t believe it.
“She’s now living in a hell hole for a few packs of painkillers.
“When we last saw her in court Laura was unrecognisable – her hair had fallen out with stress and she was blank behind the eyes.”
Shop worker Laura flew to Hurghada airport on October 9 for a fortnight stay with her partner of four years.
But instead she has been held in a cramped 15ft-square cell which she shares with 25 women for nearly a month.
She signed an Arabic 38-page document at the airport without an interpreter present – as she thought that would grant her freedom.
However, she has since been dragged through the courts and is losing her hair over the stress of being detained.
Rachel said: “Laura can’t cope another hour – let alone 20-plus years.
“She’s in there with 25 non-speaking English women so you can imagine the loneliness yet being surrounded by so many people in a small space.
“There are Egyptian women who are in there for what us British call proper drug related crimes like heroin and cocaine but they come and go yet she’s taken some painkillers across and is getting treated like it’s a million pound drug smuggle.”
Adding: “It’s beyond ridiculous.”
The family say they have already spent £10,000 on legal bills, however, it turned out the money they paid was untraceable through Western Union.
Rachel claimed that a lawyer at the airport told her sister – ‘if you don’t pay me £10,000 you WILL go to prison’.
The girls’ father Neville Plummer, 70, put up another £9,000 in the hope that Laura would be deported back to British shores – but Rachel says their solicitor “lied”.
The ‘lawyers’ then disappeared and the family were forced to find new representation for their stranded daughter.
Rachel added: “Laura only had £1,000 with her – so she gave him that in a panic.
“My dad then eventually had to pay the rest but they wanted payment my western union which we have now found out is untraceable – and we have no receipts.
“We were so desperate to help Laura and he told us she would be deported back to England on the first court hearing – but he lied.
“Laura’s second lawyer wanted £20,000 to take her case, but wanted her to lie and say that the painkillers were planted on her.
“As a family we refuse to let Laura lie because she doesn’t need to lie – she is innocent in the first place.”
Laura’s anxious mother Roberta Synclair, 63, eldest sister Jayne Synclair, 40, and Rachel have flown out twice to see her appear in court.
She will make a third appearance in court on Thursday (Nov 9) with a third lawyer.
Speaking from the family’s four-bed home in Hull, East Yorks., yesterday (Sat), Roberta said: “Laura has gone through the worst pain imaginable – she’s going through hell.”
The mum-of-six added: “I’ve been out twice to see her and going out again so I can see her on Thursday.”
Commenting on the case, a Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in Egypt.”
A petition launched to free the Brit has already mounted a 2,400-strong signature base.
To sign the petition, visit: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/149/531/328/free-laura-plummer-from-hull/