Teacher in smuggling plot jailed
DESPERATION to forge a better life for herself and her son has left fresh-faced primary school teacher Rita Gikiene behind bars today.Gikiene admitted her part in a plot to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country through Suffolk at Ipswich Crown Court.
DESPERATION to forge a better life for herself and her son has left primary school teacher, Rita Gikiene, behind bars today.
Gikiene admitted her part in a plot to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country through Suffolk at Ipswich Crown Court.
The yacht Gikiene chartered, docked at Fox's Marina in Ipswich before sailing on to Aldeburgh, Thorpeness, Sizewell and Walberswick and being seized by police in Southwold harbour.
Rita Gikiene, a Lithuanian primary school teacher, pleaded guilty to facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants into Britain.
You may also want to watch:
Ipswich Crown Court heard the 27-year-old had used her English language skills to secure a yacht in Belgium to sail across the North Sea.
The court heard there were two other crew members and seven illegal immigrants on board the vessel.
- 1 Caravans pitched at Portman Road car park
- 2 First look at golf club's multi-million pound coastal homes development
- 3 ‘Unique’ farm in coveted river setting hits market for first time in 60 years
- 4 Lounge bar with bespoke cocktails and tapas to open at Ipswich waterfront
- 5 'Mass of smoke' billows from roof in house fire
- 6 Luke Chambers: 'To be brutally honest, I didn't think I would be leaving the club this summer'
- 7 Felixstowe beach hut goes on sale for record price
- 8 Kesgrave shooting: Trial set to start as boy, 16, denies attempted murder
- 9 3 new eateries for you to try as Covid rules ease
- 10 Boss who boasted of lavish lifestyle is bankrupt with £100k debts
Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said Gikiene had assured the yacht owner that she would not sail out of Belgian territorial waters towards Britain. However the yacht owner became suspicious and told her husband who was a Belgium police officer.
On June 26 the boat was seen on the River Orwell from the watchtower at Woolverstone, it was then spotted attempting to dock at Fox's Marina before sailing out to sea and towards Southwold.
When the boat was seized Gikiene pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
Naomi Perry, for Gikiene, said her client was of previous good character and had been co-operative with the police.
The court heard how Gikiene, who has a young son "wanted to better herself" as she could only earn £35 a month in Lithuania.
She was deported from this country earlier this year when her working visa ran out.
Judge John Devaux said: "I'm satisfied you were not one of the principals, you intended to enter this country illegally and possibly because of your knowledge of English you were recruited by the principals in this enterprise.
"Facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants is a serious problem and a prison sentence must follow."
He sentenced Gikiene to 15 months in prison and said after serving half the sentence in prison she would be deported.