‘I was given a bag, but didn’t look in it’: British tourist Laura Plummer tells of 14-month Cairo jail ordeal and felt she was doing a ‘good deed’ by flying 290 painkillers into Egypt for her husband
- Laura, 34, was dramatically granted early release and arrived home yesterday
- She was jailed on Boxing Day 2017 for taking 290 Tramadol tablets into Egypt
- On TV today she claimed she didn’t know what her friend Donna had given her
A British woman jailed for more than a year for bringing illegal painkillers into Egypt has claimed she didn’t know she had them in the first place.
Laura Plummer, 34, finally touched down in Britain yesterday after 14 months in an Egyptian jail.
She was arrested as she flew in to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada to visit her Egyptian husband when border officials found 290 banned Tramadol tablets in her luggage.
In her first TV interview since being reunited with her family she spoke to Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid about the trauma of her ordeal.
She revealed she hadn’t even looked what was inside when her friend ‘Donna’ gave her a bag of painkillers for her husband Omar’s back pain.
Miss Plummer said she had ‘questions’ for her friend, who she claims has accused her of stealing the drugs from her house.
She told GMB: ‘I literally didn’t think. Obviously when Donna gave me this bag, I didn’t look inside it properly. I had no idea what I actually had.
‘You don’t know how embarrassed I am now. I didn’t know at the time. I had no idea.’
Laura Plummer, 34, finally touched down in Britain yesterday after 14 months in an Egyptian jail. She appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about her ordeal for the first time
- ‘I thought my nightmare would never end’: Brit Laura Plummer… Briton Laura Plummer flies home after 14-month Cairo jail…
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She also spoke of the ‘horrendous’ conditions she was forced to endure in her police cell and prisons in Cairo and Hurghada.
Miss Plummer spent months in jail in the Red Sea resort where there were only 84 beds for 200 women.
Miss Plummer is pictured on holiday in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada where her husband lives
She witnessed torture and had to sleep near the toilet on the floor, as there was no room and only five lavatories for the 200 inmates.
She said: ‘The prison was horrendous. I witnessed the most horrendous things I’d never thought I’d see in my life. There was fighting every day.
‘But because I knew I was innocent, I was quietly confident.’
Host Piers pointed out she ‘wasn’t innocent in the eyes of Egyptian law’, to which she replied: ‘I was innocent as in I wasn’t a drug dealer. Please don’t ever call me a drug dealer.’
Asked what her lowest moment was she said there were ‘too many’, but then said: ‘I saw two girls get tortured with sticks.
‘I thought what am I doing with these people? What am I doing in a room with these people?
Miss Plummer told the show she has not yet had the chance to go home and she is looking forward to a ‘real nice bath’.
She broke down in tears as she was quizzed by Piers and Susanna, who said she was unwise not to check what kind of painkillers she had been given.
Finally she added: ‘I feel so happy to be back, everything is going so fast. I find it really overwhelming
‘I just wanted a two-week holiday like everybody else.’
Laura Plummer (left) has flown home from Egypt after a 14-month ordeal in prison but said she had been denied the chance to say goodbye to her partner Omar Saad (right)
Hosts Piers Morgan (second left) and Susanna Reid (second right) quizzed Miss Plummer on why she took the illegal painkillers into a country ‘like Egypt’
Host Piers told Miss Plummer people ‘weren’t buying’ her story that she didn’t know where the drugs came from and she didn’t know they were illegal
Asked if she planned to return to her husband’s homeland, she said: ‘Right now? Absolutely not.
‘But because of Omar I don’t know what to do.’
The hashtag #lauraplummer started trending on Twitter shortly after her appearance, with many confused about her ‘conflicting’ version of events.
Others commented on how well she looked despite just being freed from jail, while others slated her for going on TV before returning home to Hull.
The 34-year-old wept as she landed at Heathrow Airport and walked into the arms of her teary sisters yesterday.
Overwhelming: Miss Plummer broke down in tears when she appeared on TV today
Miss Plummer, from Hull, broke down when she was asked if it felt good to be home.
She told MailOnline: ‘At times I thought this nightmare would never end.
‘What should have been a two-week holiday in the sun turned into a 15-month trip to hell.
‘I’d like to thank everybody who supported me throughout this, especially my family.’
Her sister Rachel told how everyone ‘clapped and cheered’ when the captain welcomed her home as the plane landed.
She added: ‘We’ll probably just have some food and go to bed later.’
They were joined for hugs with their sister Jayne, who’d flown with Laura, as they posed for pictures again outside the London airport terminal.
Brit Laura Plummer (right) wept yesterday as she arrived home after her 14-month Cairo jail hell for carrying illegal painkillers and into the arms of her sister Rachel (left)
Laura (centre) sobbed as she was reunited with her sisters Rachel (right) and Jayne (left). When asked if it felt good to be home, she said: ‘At times I thought this nightmare would never end’
Beaming: Miss Plummer smiled as she waited to appear on Good Morning Britain
Laura was granted an early release from her three-year sentence for taking 290 Tramadol tablets into the country.
She said police had led her into the airport terminal, denying her the chance to say goodbye to her Egyptian partner Omar Saad.
But she hinted she could return to the country to see her partner, for whom she said she had brought the tablets.
As she prepared to fly home last night she told how Mr Saad had stood by her during her ordeal.
She refused to rule out returning to the Red Sea resort to see him again after he had ‘refused to give up on her, adding: ‘Our love has survived the most traumatic of ordeals. For that reason I can’t say I won’t ever go back’.
Miss Plummer was arrested by Egyptian authorities on October, 9 2017, when she flew into the Red Sea resort of Hurghada from Manchester Airport.
She claimed she was taking the tablets – which are legal in the UK but banned in Egypt – for Mr Saad, who suffers from severe back pain, and had no idea what she was doing was wrong.
Miss Plummer and Mr Saad had an Orfi marriage, which is not registered with the state but allows them to share a hotel room.
She was initially charged with smuggling drugs, which carries the death penalty.
She was comforted by her sisters Jayne (left), who had travelled to Egypt with their mother Roberta to collect her and sister Rachel (right), who was waiting for her at Heathrow yesterday
Ms Plummer’s family said she was taking the tablets for her Egyptian partner Omar Caboo (pictured together), who suffers from severe back pain
Miss Plummer was last seen sitting in the front row of a church during Easter mass inside Cairo’s Al Qanater prison in April last year
Ms Plummer was sentenced to three years inside the notorious Al Qanater prison in Cairo (pictured) but she was granted an early release
But the charge was dropped and she was jailed on Boxing Day in 2017 for possessing the painkillers.
She served time in a notorious Cairo prison where conditions were said to be ‘horrendous’
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.
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.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: ‘We are pleased Laura is now able to reunite with her family.
‘Our staff provided extensive support to Laura and her family during her imprisonment, visiting her regularly to check her welfare, and maintaining close contact with both her family and lawyer.’
Her mother Roberta and sisters Rachel and Jayne (pictured during a TV appearance last year) had been anxiously waiting news
Photos from inside the prison show the grizzly conditions Ms Plummer has had to endure
Timeline: How did Laura Plummer end up in an Egyptian jail?
Ms Sinclair said the family have had no contact with Laura but have had an update from Omar which gave them small comfort. Pictured: Laura (right) with her two sisters
October 9, 2017: Laura Plummer is arrested at Egyptian airport after she is found in possession of 290 banned painkillers
October 10: She sends desperate text to her father saying ‘Dad, please answer your phone, I am in trouble’
November 4: Her family visit her from the UK for the first time in an Egyptian holding cell
November 21: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attempts to intervene in the case but Ms Plummer’s lawyer says it is pointless
December 26: Ms Plummer is jailed for three years following a trial in an Egyptian courthouse
January 9, 2018: She is moved to a crowded Cairo prison, where conditions are said to be ‘horrendous’
January 10: Humberside Police back in England reveal a review into how Ms Plummer obtained the painkillers
January 26: Foreign Office sources reveal plans to give Ms Plummer a presidential pardon
January 29: The pardon is inexplicably withdrawn, with the Foreign Office claiming ‘a mistake’ was made
September 25: Laura is left ‘devastated’ after losing an appeal against her three-year sentence
January 28, 2019: Miss Plummer is granted an early release and is moved from jail to a police station
January 29: The 34-year-old flies home saying the 14-month ordeal has ‘been like living a nightmare’
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