British cruise ship cocaine smuggling pensioners ask to be moved back to UK to serve rest of their eight-year sentences because wife is ‘seriously ill’
- Pensioners Roger and Sue Clarke have asked to be moved back to the UK
- They were convicted of smuggling drugs on a Caribbean liner in 2019
- They have since been held in separate jails in Portugal, with Sue said to be ‘seriously ill’
The British cruise ship cocaine smuggling pensioners have asked to be moved back to the UK to serve the rest of their sentences.
It comes after it emerged the wife is ‘seriously ill’.
Three judges convicted retired chef Roger Clarke, 72, and his ex-secretary wife Sue, 71, of drugs trafficking on a Caribbean liner after a one-day trial in 2019.
Three judges convicted retired chef Roger Clarke, 72, and his ex-secretary wife Sue, 71, of drugs trafficking on a Caribbean liner after a one-day trial in 2019
The British pair have been held in separate jails and Portuguese authorities are analysing their application to finish their sentences in England.
A source in Portugal claimed that Sue is ‘seriously ill’ and is now staying in a prison hospital in Caxias.
Court documents obtained by the Mirror show she has pleaded with the authorities to allow her to move to an English jail so she can be closer to family.
A legal source in Portugal told the publication: ‘There is a big chance they will go to England quite soon – it’s just hard to say when, as these things take time in Portugal.’
The couple have been in jail since September 2019, after smuggling £1million of cocaine on to a cruise ship.
They were told they will serve their eight-year sentences in Portugal instead of being kicked out of the country and sent back to Britain.
Clarke has previously complained about the harsh conditions in the jail, and claimed he lost six-stone and had a suspected heart attack.
The pair, originally from Kent but who lived in Guardamar, Spain, were arrested on board cruise liner Marco Polo on December 4, 2018
He also said he and his wife were ‘innocent’ and he sent a letter to Boris Johnson begging him to look into the couple’s case.
The pair, originally from Kent but who lived in Guardamar, Spain, were arrested on board cruise liner Marco Polo on December 4, 2018.
Portuguese police acted on a tip-off from Britain’s National Crime Agency and found 9lbs of cocaine hidden inside the lining of four suitcases Clarke had been handed at St Lucia.
After being sentenced, Clark held hands with his wife and whispered: ‘Jesus Christ, I was not expecting more than four years. I’ll be 80 when all this is over.’
Clarke told the court at the time that he was taking the suitcases back to the UK for a friend called Lee who had promised to pay him £800 and bragged he could sell them for a massive profit at upmarket stores such as Harrods.
He said UK-based Jamaican businessman ‘Lee’ and another associate called Dee, who he named in court as George Wilmot, had asked him to help negotiate the import of exotic fruit during Caribbean cruise stopovers and he brought the suitcases back for them as a sideline.
Police pictures show the suitcases being taken apart to show the hidden cocaine in the Clarke’s cabin on the cruise ship
State prosecutor Manuela Brito rubbished his court claim he had been ‘betrayed’ by people he trusted and insisted the Brits were drug mules who used the four cruises they took to South America in two years as a front for their crimes.
And she questioned how they could pay for the cruises costing around £18,000 when they survived on a joint monthly pension of £1,150 from which the couple had to pay rent of £445.
Clarke said he fears for his health in jail after having stents fitted in his heart in 2010.
He said he had been taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack while in lock up, but it was just to do with his chest muscles caused by weight loss.
It is understood Sue works as a seamstress in Lisbon’s Tires Prison, making toys.
She is believed to be sharing a cell with four other convicts.
Source: Read Full Article