Woman finds illegal immigrant in car after driving from France to UK

Ruth Doherty
British woman finds illegal immigrant in Fiat Panda after driving from Calais
British woman finds illegal immigrant in Fiat Panda after driving from Calais

A British woman was shocked to find a stowaway hiding in the back of her Fiat Panda - after driving from Calais to Kent.

Sue Taber arrived home after driving all the way home from Spain via the Eurotunnel and spotted a man's leg behind the driver's seat when she let her two dogs out of the car.

A 5ft 8in man, aged between 18 and 20, emerged from her vehicle shouting: "I'm an orphan, I'm an orphan".

She said she shouted at the man to "get lost" and ran inside to call 999 as the man fled at around 9.30am on Thursday, reports the Mirror.

Ms Taber said he must have got in her car when she stopped at the Eurotunnel "for just a few minutes" to check her dogs in.

According to the Daily Mail, she told BBC Radio Kent: "I can't believe this happened, I just can't believe that this man got in my car.

"As I let the dogs out of the car a leg protruded from behind my seats and a chap got out and said "I'm an orphan, I'm an orphan" at which point I told him to get lost.

"I just can't believe this man got in my car and I can only think that [it happened] when I took my dogs in to get their passports done at Calais - the only place where I would let my guard down and not had the car locked."

According to the Daily Telegraph, Sue added: "At one point in the journey, I was listening to BBC Radio Kent, they were talking about illegal immigrants and what had been going in in Calais, I had no idea I had one less than a yard away from me.

"I thought one of my dogs had found a ball and kept nudging me in the back, but now I know what it really was."

Sue had been to Spain to visit her partner, who owns a property there. Her family had advised her not to travel home alone, but she had felt safe with her dogs.

She added that she had no idea how the dogs did not give the man away, as they usually bark at everyone.

A Kent police spokesman told Kent Online: "Kent Police was called at 9.27am today (4 September) to reports of a suspected illegal immigrant in a car in Shepherdswell.

"Officers located the man and he has been transferred to the Home Office Immigration Enforcement (formally UKBA) for them to take any further action."

According to the BBC, Eurotunnel is now set to issue guidance to its customers at Calais to help them avoid falling victim to migrants who might try to smuggle their way into the UK by hiding in their vehicles.

Director of public affairs, John Keefe, told the BBC: "From this week we are starting to do this...it's a brand new phenomenon that migrants are targeting passenger services, whereas previously it was just trucks."

"We're telling them to be vigilant themselves, lock their cars and not park up in unlit areas."

The news comes as Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart threatened to shut down the port unless Britain helps to deal with the hundreds of immigrants turning up at the town in northern France in a bid to sneak across the Channel.

Bouchart said that her city was being "taken hostage" by about 1,300 migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa who are attempting to cross the English channel from France.

The town has been a hotspot for migrants hoping to get into the UK for the last decade.

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