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France

British woman jailed for trying to sneak teenage migrant into UK

media 'The Jungle' in Calais, France REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A French court on has sent a 41-year-old British woman to jail for attempting to sneak a young Syrian migrant into Britain. The woman was handed the one-year sentence, with nine months of the suspended, for hiding the 15-year-old boy in the boot of her car.
 

She was arrested by French authorities at the northwestern port of Dieppe before they could board the vessel to Newhaven on Britain's south coast.

The mother-of-one, who works in a London suburb as a waitress and occasional escort girl, had arrived in northern France to visit "The Jungle" migrants' camp in Calais.

According to the French authorities she accepted 500 pounds (650 euros) from an Iraqi migrant at the Calais camp to smuggle the 15-year-old across.

She accepted the task, she said, for "humanitarian reasons".

She was originally sentenced in November to one year in jail.

On appeal at a court in the northeast town of Rouen that sentence was eased to three months in jail.

Including time already served in custody she should be freed on February 12.

The appeal court also banned her from entering France for five years.

Last week French justice showed more clemency to another British voluntary worker, former soldier Robert Lawrie.

He was only fined 1,000 euros for attempting to take a four-year-old Afghan girl out of the Calais camp in order to drive her to Britain.

Unlike his compatriot he received no money and his act was deemed to be unpremeditated.

The camp, known as ‘The Jungle’ has around 4,000 inhabitants, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq but also Sudan and Eritrea.

 

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