A British woman jailed for smuggling drugs into Egypt has told how she saw two girls tortured in front of her while she was in prison.
Laura Plummer, 34, arrived home on Tuesday (29 January) after spending months in an Egypt prison for having 290 Tramadol prescription painkillers in her luggage at an airport.
The 34-year-old shop worker says she had planned to give them to her Egyptian husband Omar for his chronic back pain.
She has now spoken out about her time in al-Qanater women’s prison, south of Cairo, on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Laura said: ‘I only got back Tuesday. I feel obviously happy to be back but everything is going so fast. I’m finding it overwhelming.
‘I witnessed horrible things in the two and a half months I was in the Hurghada jail. Everyone had to dress in white. There was 200 women in one area with only 84 beds.
‘The worst moment of it all was seeing two girls getting tortured with sticks. I just thought ‘What am I doing with these people? I thought if I was nice to them, they’ll be nice to me but that wasn’t the case.’
The shopworker from Hull was sentenced to three years in prison on Boxing Day 2017 for taking 290 Tramadol tablets into the country.
She added: ‘I found out I was going to be released while in church. The first thing I wanted was a nice bath.’
‘Everything is so clean here. Over there, there was only five toilets for 200 women, I had to shower with a jug and a hole in the floor.’
Arriving at Heathrow Airport Tuesday, she said she thought her ‘nightmare would never end’.
Breaking down in tears as she arrived back in the UK, Ms Plummer said: ‘Words cannot express how delighted I am to be home.
‘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 would like to thank everybody for supporting me throughout this, especially my family.’
Ms Plummer was arrested at Hurghada Airport on October 9 2017 when she flew into the Red Sea resort.
She said she was taking the tablets, which are legal in the UK but banned in Egypt, for her Egyptian partner Omar Caboo, who suffers severe back pain.
Her family previously said Ms Plummer had no idea that what she doing was illegal and was just ‘daft’.
Last September, she was refused permission to appeal against her conviction, but was granted early release on Monday after serving a third of her sentence.
Karl Turner, Ms Plummer’s local MP, said: ‘I am delighted for Laura and her family that this terrible ordeal is now coming to an end.
‘I would like to thank the Foreign Office and particularly minister of state Alistair Burt MP for everything he and officials have done for Laura and her family since this saga begun.
‘I very much hope that Laura can put this behind her and get on with her life now.’
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.’