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Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 22:19 GMT 23:19 UK
Cocaine haul gran jailed
Caracas
British official in Caracas due to visit the grandmother
A Scottish grandmother has been jailed by a Venezuelan court for attempting to smuggle 500,000 worth of cocaine within days of her arrest.

The Foreign Office confirmed on Tuesday evening that social worker Irene Campbell, 53, from Glasgow, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

A court hearing took place on the island of Margarita off the South American coast on Tuesday and it was understood Mrs Campbell pleaded guilty.


Glasgow council
Mrs Cunningham works for Glasgow council
Police detained the Briton as she made her way through the island's airport last Wednesday.

Earlier, it was thought Mrs Campbell, from the Pollok area, faced a delay of months before her case came to court.

An official from the British Embassy in the Venezuelan capital Caracas was due to travel to see Mrs Campbell in jail to find out at first hand what happened in court.

Mrs Campbell's family, who had expressed shock at her arrest, were distraught at the news that she had been jailed.

Her daughter Linda told the Daily Record newspaper: "This cannot be justice. There is no way my mother can have had a fair hearing. It is a travesty.

Something wrong

"Words fail me. She obviously never got the chance of proper legal advice and pleaded guilty to reduce the sentence."

Mrs Campbell's family began to fear there was something wrong when she failed to return from her two-week holiday in Venezuela.

They were made aware of the situation when a Foreign Office official phoned Linda on Friday.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council confirmed Mrs Campbell worked as a social worker in the city but said the local authority had not been contacted over her arrest.

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03 Apr 00 | Scotland
Glasgow woman on cocaine charge
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