Michaella McCollum Connolly Photo by: REUTERS

Irish drug mule could serve sentence at home if family pay $7,000 fine


Michaella McCollum Connolly Photo by: REUTERS

Irish drug mule Michaella McCollum Connolly can serve her sentence in Northern Ireland – if her family pays a $7,000 fine to the authorities in Peru.

The Tyrone girl’s supporters are currently investigating the possibility of bringing Michaella home after she was convicted of drug trafficking in a Lima court.

Scottish girl Melissa Reid, sentenced with McCollum Connolly for attempting to smuggle cocaine to Spain, has submitted a prisoner transfer request and paid a civil fine of around $7,000.

The Irish Sun on Sunday reports that the 20-year-old could be allowed to serve the rest of her sentence at home.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Prison Service told the paper: “We would consider any application made to us, a transfer could be possible but each application is dealt with on a case-to-case basis.”

The Irish woman’s parents believe her chances of freedom were boosted after Reid was given clearance by authorities to serve the rest of her sentence back in Scotland.

The paper reports that Reid has already written to parents Billy and Debbie saying she hopes to be back on ‘home turf’ before her 21st birthday in August.

Reid explained: “Although I won’t exactly be going right home and will be going to a prison, at least I will get to speak my own language for 24/7 and be around people who are similar to me.

“I am so surprised that my request is being dealt with so quickly and urgently.

“And although I know it has not yet been accepted, I feel confident about the process now after having had some news so quickly.

“Who knows, I could be out of this place before my 21st birthday and that would really be a dream.”

Michaella has not yet completed her transfer bid. She said previously: “I would rather spend 90 years in a prison back home than spend another day here.”

The pair were jailed for six years and eight months in December after pleading guilty to a charge attempting to smuggle cocaine out of Peru in their suitcases.

The report says they are expected to remain in prison until April 2020. 


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