71-Year Old Grandma Jailed With Her Husband For Smuggling £1m Of Cocaine On A Cruise Ship

at 24-02-2020 10:02AM (1 month ago)

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A British gran who smuggled £1million of cocaine on to a cruise ship fears she will leave a foreign prison in a coffin after getting suspected Bosom  cancer.

Susan Clarke, 71, has been in a ­maximum-security jail in Portugal since last September following her conviction for a drugs plot with husband Roger, 72.

The London pensioners, both jailed for eight years, claim they were conned by criminals into carrying suitcases with the drugs hidden in the lining.

Frail and gaunt, Susan has lost more than two and a half stone since she was locked up in a 10ft x 10ft cell she shares with three hardened criminals in Lisbon’s tough women’s jail EP Tires.

She is living in fear of Bosom  cancer after finding a lump and is awaiting the results of a painful double biopsy on her left Bosom .

Susan, whose appeal against conviction was rejected earlier this month, told the Sunday People from behind bars: “My health is terrible.

“I may never get out of here alive and there’s no way I can reduce my sentence now. We were made an example of but I’ve been handed a death sentence.

“My worry is that I’ll never be free and I’ll be leaving here in a box.”

The grandmother-of-eight who has one great-grandchild said the worst torture was being apart from Roger who is serving his sentence in a different jail in Lisbon.

She wept as she told reporter: “We feel completely abandoned. The Foreign Office has ignored us, Boris Johnson has not helped and we have been completely cut adrift. No ­pensioner should be treated like this.

“We found out our appeal had been dismissed. I’m devastated and angry.

“I want to go home, I want to go back to the UK. I want to be with Roger. That’s the worst thing, the worst torture, to be apart from him.”

It is not the first time the couple, ­originally from Chatham, Kent, have found themselves behind bars.

They were arrested in Norway in 2010 as they tried to smuggle 240 kilos of ­cannabis into Oslo.

After serving their sentences Susan and former chef Roger moved to a villa in Guardamar on Spain’s Costa Blanca and enjoyed a comfortable life in the expat community.

Last year the couple went on a cruise from the Caribbean to Europe on the liner Marco Polo.

Officers raided their cabin following a tip-off from Britain’s National Crime Agency as the ship entered Lisbon.

Investigators found 20lbs of the Class A drugs in the lining of four suitcases which Roger had been handed on the island of St Lucia.

Susan said: “I can understand why people might well believe that we are guilty but we are not.

“That’s what hurts so much. We know that we are completely innocent.”

Roger claimed he was taking the ­suitcases back to the UK for a businessman friend who said he could sell the fancy goods for a big profit at Harrods.

Roger, serving his sentence in Lisbon’s grim EP Lisboa said he had been asked to help negotiate the import of exotic fruit during cruise stopovers and he brought the suitcases for the friend as a sideline.

But prosecutors rejected his court claim that he had been betrayed by people he trusted in a business scheme.

The prosecution insisted the Brits were drug mules who used the four cruises they took in two years as a front for their crimes making up to £26,500 per cruise.

Prosecutors claim the drugs were ­destined for Britain.

Susan refuses to name the criminals, claiming their network extends to the jail she is incarcerated in. But she says she gave their names and pictures to Portuguese police.

Re-living the ­moment of arrest, Susan said: “It was 3am and one of the ship’s officers knocked on the door and said they had a court warrant to search our cabin.

“There were six officers and then I heard they had found drugs. Roger was as white as a ghost. You could see the shock and devastation in his face.

“I know my ­husband inside out and I know that he had no idea the drugs were there.

“I was in shock. It was just too much to comprehend. We were ­convinced we were set up because Roger had told his friends that this would be our last cruise.”

In prison, Susan still wears her gold and diamond wedding band.

But despite her casual clothes and pearl earrings, she is showing the strain of 14 months spent sharing a squalid cell since her arrest.

davi at 24-02-2020 10:55AM (1 month ago)
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