• France's news in English
British woman jailed for trying to sneak refugee boy in to UK
Children at a refugee camp near Calais. Photo: AFP

British woman jailed for trying to sneak refugee boy in to UK

AFP/The Local · 21 Jan 2016, 07:34

Published: 21 Jan 2016 07:34 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The woman was handed a one-year sentence, with nine months of the term suspended, for hiding the 15-year-old boy in the boot of her car in an attempt to get him onto a cross-Channel ferry.

She was apprehended 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, which she knew well from earlier trips as a volunteer.

According to the French authorities she accepted £500 (€650) from an Iraqi migrant at the Calais camp, who managed to get over to England and asked her to smuggle the 15-year-old across, a task she accepted for "humanitarian reasons".

An initial court decision in November deemed her crime worthy of a 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 12th.

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

Story continues below…

Unlike his compatriot he received no money and his act wasn't deemed to be premeditated.

On a visit to Paris on Monday Lawrie urged people to understand the desperation of the migrants fleeing war and misery as they languish in a camp with some 4,000 inhabitants, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq but also Sudan and Eritrea.

"You can't help everyone. But everyone can help someone", said Lawrie, a father-of-four from northern England who has visited The Jungle several times to build shelters for the migrants.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available