British woman Laura Plummer jailed for taking painkiller Tramadol to Egyptian lover

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Tramadol is a Class C prescription drug in the United Kingdom but is banned in Egypt as it is widely used as a heroin substitute. The family has said that Plummer did not know that the drugs were illegal and that she was just "daft".

In an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, Rachel Plummer - Laura's sister - expressed her shock at the final verdict.

Her devastated family said her lawyers have lodged an immediate appeal. She has maintained her innocence ever since, saying that she had bought the tablets found in her suitcase only for her partner and had no idea that they were illegal in Egypt.

"I don't think she's tough enough to survive it", he said. "She doesn't deserve that", Rachel told the BBC.

"We're just hoping. Even half of that would be better - anything less than three years".

Mohamed Anan, general manager of customs in Hurghada, made the decision to to pursue legal action against her, before General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek transferred the case to the Criminal Court.

She said her daughter has now been moved to another police station ahead of her move to prison. She's out there by herself. He said the court could also not prove she brought them into the country to sell them.

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"She meant that she is admitting that she had the Tramadol, but not admitting of being guilty".

He continued: "The main judge demanded that a member of the bench ask Laura whether she traded or dealt in narcotics".

The Foreign Office is believed to be trying to have Laura moved to another prison in Cairo where another British prisoner is being held.

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.

Ms Plummer has been held in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, where she was arrested at the airport on October 9. Instead, she was placed in a cell with 25 other women for almost a month.

"It clearly is a banned substance and whilst we must respect the law of other countries there must be good sense and fair play as well", Turner added.