IPSWICH: �400k drug mule jailed
A 27-YEAR-old drug mule who attempted to smuggle a large amount of cocaine into Britain is today beginning a lengthy jail sentence.
Emma Backhouse, of Pooley’s Yard, Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, was imprisoned for six-and-a-half years by His Honour Judge McGregor-Johnson at Isleworth Crown Court in London.
Backhouse was charged with the attempted importation of a Class A drug and was only due to enter a plea at yesterday’s hearing.
However, she admitted the offence and was sentenced on the same day.
Backhouse was caught as she attempted to smuggle ten kilos of cocaine through Heathrow Airport two-and-a-half months ago.
The drug smuggler had flown in from South America via a connecting flight from Switzerland.
Officers from the UK Border Agency stopped Backhouse after she arrived on a flight from Zurich on Monday, September 6.
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She had travelled to Switzerland from Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Backhouse’s luggage was searched and officers discovered the Class A drugs split into around six packages.
The drugs were concealed in the lining of her bag, as well as in at least one book and a set of duvet covers.
The cocaine was estimated to have a value of around �400,000.
Backhouse was arrested and taken into custody for questioning.
She was subsequently charged and remanded in custody until her first appearance before Uxbridge Magistrates Court on September 7.
At that hearing Backhouse was remanded back into custody, and her case committed to Isleworth Crown Court.
After Backhouse’s sentencing assistant director Peter Avery, of the UK Border Agency’s criminal and financial investigations unit, said: “This case highlights the success of the UK Border Agency in disrupting the drug smuggling operations of criminal gangs.
“We will not hesitate to take action against anyone involved in smuggling, and the sentence handed down today shows how seriously the courts take such offences.
“The UK Border Agency is at the forefront of the fight to stop illegal drugs reaching the UK’s streets, and we are working closely with our law enforcement partners to do that.”