Custody officer Kelly Henderson, 39, started an affair with Fatos Demirneli during his detention at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in West London.
When the “good looking” Albanian was deported the besotted mother-of-one plotted to sneak him back into Britain from France.
In August last year she drove across the Channel and tried to smuggle Demirneli back into the UK hidden in the back of her Nissan Micra.
But immigration officials at the Channel Tunnel entrance at Coquelles searched the car and found the stowaway – as well as a quantity of amphetamines.
Police then raided Henderson’s home in West Drayton, Middlesex and found MDMA, prosecutor Jim Harvey told Canterbury Crown Court.
Henderson, who has been sacked from GEO Group Inc who run the immigration removal centre, admitted people smuggling and two drugs offences.
But despite her crimes she escaped jail when a judge said what she did was ‘silly but understandable’.
Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl said the normal sentence for the offence was “almost always” an immediate jail term but gave Henderson a suspended sentence.
He told her: “You were very silly and now you realise that.
“One can understand the kind of emotions which were swirling around in your mind at the prospect of parting from your boyfriend.
“This was a very silly but understandable act.”
Paul Hogben, defending, said Henderson, who has a 14 year-old daughter, “allowed her emotions to run away with her.”
He said: “This is a sad case of a 39 year old mother with a 14 year old daughter. She was somewhat vulnerable.
“He was a very nice man. She said he was very good looking and she was flattered by the fact he had taken an interest in her.
“She succumbed even though she knew there was a conflict with her employment. She was not naive but she gave way to the emotions which had grown between them.”
Mr Hogben said Mr Demirneli was sent back to France – but the affair carried on.
He said: “Although she did not have a plan to bring her lover back to the UK illegally, she did want the relationship to continue in the hope he could come back legally one day.”
Henderson went to France to spend time with her lover and when the time came to part “she just couldn’t and a mad idea came into her head to secrete him in her car.”
The court heard that Demirneli has since been removed from the UK.
Henderson was given an 18 month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work for the community. The judge ordered the car – which she claimed was worth £300 – be confiscated.