Aid worker says bid to smuggle girl 'irrational'

Former British soldier building shelters for migrants in Calais took pity on Afghan girl (4), and tried to take her home

Newstalk, soldier, aid worker, Afghan, Calais, Rob Lawrie, Bahar Ahmadi, Bru

Photo: Rob Lawrie and Bahar (4) via Aj+ on Facebook

An aid worker who smuggled a young girl into the UK from Calais says he is sorry for what it he did.

Rob Lawrie's (49) expected to plead guilty to aiding illegal migration in a French court this afternoon.

The former soldier says the case has left him on the verge of bankruptcy, and he regrets his actions.

He says he just wanted to help the youngster from Afghanistan, Bahar Ahmadi, who is known as Bru:

"I made an irrational choice. Her family lives three or four miles from me in Leeds. It was very cold that night and she was going back to her tent... how can you allow that to happen?"

"Morally and compassionately I was getting this little girl out of severe danger to a family that could love her, pay for her, educate her."

Mr Lawrie posted a picture of the press conference he gave to his Facebook page earlier today:

 

Press conference. Omg!!

Posted by Rob Lawrie on Thursday, January 14, 2016

 

AJ+ media has previously interviewed him: 

 
Girl 'Smuggled' Out of Refugee Camp

"We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone – and she had become my someone."This ex-soldier has been accused of smuggling a refugee child to the UK:

Posted by AJ+ on Monday, January 11, 2016

The former Army physical training instructor went to The Jungle camp in summer last Autumn to help build shelters, after seeing the photograph of dead Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi on a beach in Turkey.

He was caught trying to smuggle Bahar on to a ferry after two Eritrean emigrants stowed away in the back of his van and he was stopped by authorities.

The child he helped has since been sent back to the Calais camp Rob took her from.

Mr Lawrie, a father of four, faces up to five years in jail.

Thousands of people have signed petitions calling for clemency for Mr Lawrie.