Grandmother, 57, jailed for smuggling cannabis

Grandmother, 57, jailed for smuggling cannabis

Grandmother, 57, jailed for smuggling cannabis

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A HEADINGTON grandmother caught smuggling £51,000 worth of cannabis through Gatwick has been jailed for two years.

Margaret Simms, 57, of Peat Moors, denied bringing 17 kilos of the drug into the UK from Jamaica in November last year, but was convicted by a jury of importation at a previous hearing and then sentenced yesterday.

She had flown to the Caribbean to visit her Jamaican husband Sean Simms, who she married in 2008, and Inner London Crown Court heard that she insists she was acting under duress.

As he put her behind bars, Recorder Karl King said: “It is unfortunately my job to sentence you for this offences.

“As you will appreciate it is solely from your commission of this offence, your conscious decision to participate in this offence that brings you here. I have come to the conclusion you were an active participant and have concocted a story to deflect your role.

“There is not any sense of regret or remorse on your part.”

She told the jury she had been a victim of threats and duress made by security guards at her hotel.

Initially she thought they were joking, she claimed, but Simms then told the jury that the day before she was due to return to the UK they gave her instructions to collect a suitcase when she landed at Gatwick.

But the suitcase had already been identified by Border Force officers as containing drugs.

Prosecutor Francis Gaskin said: “The evidence heard in total about her role came from the defendant and must have been disbelieved by the jury. There is no credible evidence of threats or pressure. The prosecution say she knew exactly what she was doing and was motivated by financial gain.”

But Simms’ lawyer said there was no evidence of financial gain or a “criminal lifestyle”.

Carole Upshall, Border Force South director, said: “This seizure was an excellent example of that work, and my officers have prevented a substantial amount of cannabis from making it on to our streets.

“Working with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency we are determined to do all we can to stop traffickers and the criminal networks involved in drug smuggling.”

  • Our top stories:

Man armed with broken bottle robs bookmakers in Bicester

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

1:20pm Sunday 1st March 2015

A MAN brandishing a broken bottle robbed a bookmakers in Bicester yesterday.

Ferrari 458 seized by police on M40 near Bicester after driver believed to have no licence

Oxford Mail:

11:55am Sunday 1st March 2015

Police seized this £200,000 Ferrari 458 on the M40 in Oxfordshire this morning.

Man in life-threatening condition in hospital after collision with car near Banbury

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:33pm Saturday 28th February 2015

A pedestrian is fighting for their life in hospital after being in a collision with a car near Banbury this morning.

Flowers planted at memorial garden to Jayden Parkinson in Didcot by family and friends

Oxford Mail:

1:29pm Saturday 28th February 2015

FAMILY and friends of a murdered teenager have planted flowers at her memorial garden today.

Defibrillator Campaign on target as 1,000 join up to be lifesavers

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 28th February 2015

AS 1,000 lifesavers have now been trained across Oxfordshire, the campaign to install more than 300 defibrillators is set to hit its target next month.

Good Samaritan conned by Botley petrol fraudster

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 28th February 2015

A GOOD Samaritan who said she was conned out of £70 by a highway fraudster is warning others about being caught in his trap.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree