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Middlesex couple appear in court on charges of attempting to smuggle eight Albanians into UK

Man, 69, and woman, 73, appear in court charged with trying to smuggle eight Albanians into the UK in a rented Fiat Ducato motorhome

  • James Kimber, 69, denies trying to smuggle eight Albanians into the UK
  • He was with his wife Margaret, 73, when they were stopped by Border Force
  • On February 25, 2019, eight migrants were discovered in the rented camper
  • Mr Kimber pleaded not guilty to one offense of aiding illegal immigration
  • It was said Ms Kimber should not be charged with health problems










A pensioner has denied trying to smuggle eight Albanians into the UK in a rented motorhome.

James Kimber, 69, was with his wife Margaret, 73, when they were stopped by Border Force officials in the Channel Tunnel control zone in Coquelles, France, on February 25, 2019.

Eight migrants were discovered in the rented Fiat Ducato motorhome, one of whom was hiding in the toilet.

The couple, from Feltham, Middlesex, were arrested and charged.

James Kimber, 69, was with his wife Margaret, 73, (both pictured) when they were stopped by Border Force officials in the Channel Tunnel control zone in Coquelles, France, on February 25, 2019.

James Kimber, 69, was with his wife Margaret, 73, (both pictured) when they were stopped by Border Force officials in the Channel Tunnel control zone in Coquelles, France, on February 25, 2019.

During a pre-trial review hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Mr Kimber pleaded not guilty to one offense of aiding illegal immigration.

But Judge Catherine Moore agreed that Ms Kimber, who was in the dock with her husband, should not be charged with the same crime over health concerns.

The delay means their trial, which was set to begin in a two-week schedule commencing January 31, is now not expected to start before March.

Judge Moore ordered a new hearing to update the court on Ms. Kimber’s condition and conduct a medical assessment on Feb. 11.

Mr Kimber also has a number of health problems, the court was told.

The couple, accompanied by their daughter to the court hearing, were released on unconditional bail.

During a pre-trial review hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Mr Kimber pleaded not guilty to one offense of aiding illegal immigration.  But Judge Catherine Moore agreed that Ms Kimber, who was in the dock with her husband, should not be charged with the same crime over health concerns.

During a pre-trial review hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Mr Kimber pleaded not guilty to one offense of aiding illegal immigration. But Judge Catherine Moore agreed that Ms Kimber, who was in the dock with her husband, should not be charged with the same crime over health concerns.

In September 2020, at a magistrate hearing, Mr Kimber was told that Mr Kimber was driving the motor home, with his wife in the front seat, when they were apprehended.

A vehicle inspection led to the discovery of an Albanian man in the toilet and seven more men hiding behind a curtained bed over the driver and passenger seats.

At the same hearing, the court was told that the motorhome, which was equipped with a central locking system, had been rented three days earlier.

No details have been released on where the couple traveled to before returning to the UK.

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