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:

Oxfordshire bid for record Poppy Appeal total to mark centenary of start of First World War

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

PEOPLE in Oxfordshire are being urged to help break the £500,000 barrier for the first time as this year’s Poppy Appeal is launched today.

Judge criticises "catastrophic" CPS after trial postponement

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

2:30pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

A JUDGE has criticised a “catastrophic failure” by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which caused a trial to be put off until next year.

Hot-shot Danny Hylton on a high at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

DANNY Hylton thinks he is playing the best football of his career after a brace for Oxford United on Tuesday night made it ten goals for the season already.

Oxford's Lord Mayor gives ancient city walls the once-over

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

NOT crumbling too much and graffiti free: Oxford’s ancient city walls were given a clean bill of health in yesterday’s traditional inspection.

Hook Norton farm trailers stolen

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Food trailers were stolen from a Hook Norton farm over Tuesday night and yesterday morning.

More Oxfordshire churches ‘at risk’ says heritage group

Oxford Mail: DISTINCTIVE: The English Heritage flag will be flown most of the time

8:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Eight Oxfordshire churches have been added to English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk register.

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