Peru drugs mule Reid ‘to be released’

Melissa ReidImage copyright
Splash News

Image caption

Melissa Reid faced a hearing in Lima to decide whether she should be transferred to a Scottish prison

Briton Melissa Reid, who was jailed for trying to smuggle drugs from Peru, is to be released from prison, authorities in the country have said.

The 22-year-old, from Lenzie, near Glasgow, and Michaella McCollum, from Co Tyrone, were jailed in 2013 for attempting to smuggle cocaine to Spain.

Peruvian authorities said, following a court hearing on Friday, they had agreed to expel her from the country.

Reid has served about a third of her sentence of six years and eight months.

Authorities in Peru said because Reid had also complied with other measures she had met legal requirements to be released.

McCollum, 23, was freed last month after serving two years and three months in prison.

However, it is anticipated she will have to remain in Peru for a considerable period as part of her parole conditions.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Michaella McCollum (left) and Melissa Reid were arrested at Lima airport in 2013

Last month the UK’s Foreign Office said a judge in Peru would rule whether Reid should be expelled from the country “in the next few days”.

A hearing in Lima also considered whether she should be transferred to a Scottish prison.

An FCO statement released on Saturday said: “We continue to provide assistance to Melissa Reid, and remain in contact with her family and local authorities.”

‘Moment of madness’

McCollum and Reid were caught with an estimated £1.5m of cocaine at Lima airport on 6 August 2013 while attempting to board a flight to Madrid, in Spain.

The pair were caught with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

They had claimed they were forced to carry the drugs, but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

Media captionMichaella McCollum spoke for the first time after her release last month

They had faced the prospect of a maximum 15-year prison term but struck a behind-closed-doors plea bargain to secure a shorter sentence.

Following her release, McCollum told Irish state broadcaster RTÉ she had been “very naive, so young and very insecure”.

“A lot of times I didn’t know how to say no to somebody,” she said.

“I kind of just followed along with it and I guess a part of me kind of wanted to be something I’m not.

“But, simply, I made a decision in my moment of madness.”

Reid’s father Billy has previously said the impact of his daughter’s imprisonment on his family had been “horrendous”.

He said: “It’s horrendous to see your daughter in handcuffs and the living conditions that she has to put up with. Melissa has spent her own 20th and 21st birthdays in prison in Peru.”

Peru drugs mule Reid ‘to be released’

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