Mum tried to smuggle illegal immigrants into UK in her car boot

A Derbyshire mum caught trying to smuggle two illegal immigrants into the UK in the boot of a car has been jailed for 18 months.

Heather Woodcock told border force officers at Coquelles, France[1], she had been on a camping trip to Calais.

But they became suspicious after looking inside her car and seeing no tents or other such equipment.

When they asked her to open the boot, the pair of Albanian men were cramped inside it under the parcel shelf.

Recorder Adrian Reynolds, sentencing the mother-of-two at Derby Crown Court[2], said: “I have to send you to prison for what you did.

“I don’t relish it, I don’t enjoy it, but you facilitated illegal immigration and that is serious for a number of reasons.

“You must be aware of the people who came from the Asian continent in the back of a lorry as that led to multiple manslaughter charges.

“I don’t think for one minute you were the brains behind this operation, but your fingerprints were all over it and you did it for financial reward.”

Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, said a Volkswagen Passatt hired from East Midlands Airport by Woodcock was at the entrance to Eurotunnel queueing to get back to the UK on September 16.

He said officers found the illegal immigrants and arrested the 35-year-old and her passenger.

Investigations revealed £1,200 had been paid into her bank account one day and a further £1,300 the following day in the lead up to the offence.

Woodcock, of Poolsbrok Road, Duckmanton, pleaded guilty to two counts of assisting the unlawful immigration of non-UK citizens.

Charges again her co-accused, William Abo-Bakr, 30, of Gateway Court, Matlock, were dropped.

Sonal Ahya, mitigating, said her client’s two children would have to go and live with the defendant’s sister if she were jailed immediately.

She said: “She was not working and she was essentially under instruction.”

References

  1. ^ at Coquelles, France (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Derby Crown Court (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)