Expatica news

British grandmother jailed in Lisbon prison for cocaine smuggling plot moans about “very hard” prison conditions

She was arrested with husband Roger, 72, when cops found nine kilos of cocaine in the lining of four suitcases that her husband was handed on St Lucia last December. The couple were arrested on board the luxury Marco Polo cruise liner in Lisbon on their return from the Caribbean.

In a leaked letter to a friend, Sue wrote: “It’s very hard here, especially with the language difference. I’m in a room with four other women and only one speaks English. It is very cold. There is no heating at all.”

She went on to claim “We only get one hot drink a day, with breakfast, then water with lunch and dinner. I can honestly say that we had no idea what was happening until the police in Portugal searched our luggage.”

They had been in the middle of a dream 7000 euro Caribbean cruise when Portuguese officials were tipped off by UK police after Roger was heard boasting about the feat.

However, retired chef Roger told a trial in Lisbon that he had no idea that there were drugs hidden in the cases, and he was taking them back to the UK for a friend called “Lee”.

Clarke told the court that “Lee” was a UK-based Jamaican businessman who worked with an associate called “Dee,” who he named in court as a man called George Wilmot.

The ex-chef whispered to his wife in court: “Jesus Christ, I wasn’t expecting more than four” as they were sentenced and ordered to serve their sentences in Portugal. Mr Clarke held hands with his wife as they learnt their fate through a translator before sheepishly blurting out his shock at the length of his sentence.

Ex-secretary Sue said she only knew her husband’s business associates socially and never accompanied him when he negotiated what she claims were “fruit sales”.

Mr Clarke, originally of Kent, and mum-of-three Sue both served prison sentences in Norway after being convicted in 2010 for trafficking 240 kilos of cannabis resin.

Clarke said he got into drugs-running to clear debts and was made to do more with his wife as cover after being threatened with violence by gangster paymasters if he stopped.