Rob Lawrie, a former soldier and aid worker from the UK, tried smuggling 4-year old refugee Bahar Ahmadi into the country in order to reunite her with her family. He was caught at the border, and faced a five-year prison sentence, as well as a $32,000 fine for aiding illegal immigration.
Lawrie met Ahmadi while he was building migrant shelters in Calais, France. Ahmadi’s father begged Lawrie to take her to their relatives in England.
“I just did it because I could no longer see her live in this squalid environment,” Lawrie told Reuters. “It was just ridiculous… I couldn’t do that anymore.”
Lawrie was tried in a French court on Thursday, and pleaded for leniency. NBC News reported that he received a $1,090 suspended fine. In France, suspended fines don’t need to be paid, but will go on his criminal record.
“It was done on the spur of the moment out of compassion,” Lawrie said.
Story and editing by Alana Yzola
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