Ipswich: Drug mule was on bail at time of offence

IPSWICH: A woman flew to Brazil while on court bail for a drugs offence before attempting to smuggle ten kilos of cocaine into Britain, it can be revealed today.

Drug mule Emma Backhouse, of Ipswich, was facing a charge of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs when she was released on bail from South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich in early August.

However, less than a month after her release, Backhouse, of Ranelagh Road, was captured at Heathrow Airport in possession of cocaine valued at �400,000.

The background to the case can now be revealed after the charge relating to Backhouse’s Ipswich arrest was dropped this week following her six-and-a-half year jail sentence for drug smuggling.

The Crown Prosecution Service told Ipswich Crown Court it would be offering no evidence.

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Backhouse was originally taken into custody after the car she was in was stopped by police near Ipswich railway station on June 1.

Wraps of crack cocaine were allegedly found after a search of the car and the 27-year-old’s home.

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Backhouse first appeared before Ipswich magistrates on August 9 after being charged with supplying, or offering, to supply crack cocaine. Her case was adjourned and she was given unconditional bail until September 20.

Despite this, Backhouse flew to Sao Paulo in Brazil in early September, before catching a flight back to Britain via Switzerland.

When Backhouse arrived at Heathrow Airport on September 6 from Zurich she was stopped by UK Border Agency officers. A search of her luggage revealed the ten kilos of cocaine.

The drugs were concealed in the lining of her bag, as well as in at least one book and a set of duvet covers.

After Backhouse was arrested and charged she was remanded in custody by Uxbridge Magistrates Court on September 7.

The case was committed to Isleworth Crown Court in London where Backhouse was jailed after pleading guilty to the attempted importation of a Class A drug.

n Do you think sentences for drug smugglers are tough enough? E-mail eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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