\"Michaella

Michaella McCollum Connolly, from County Tyrone, accused of being a drug mule in Peru, leaving court Photo by: Mail.com

Drug mule admits she may consider plea bargain to reduce Peruvian sentence

\"Michaella

Michaella McCollum Connolly, from County Tyrone, accused of being a drug mule in Peru, leaving court Photo by: Mail.com

Alleged drug mule Michaella McCollum-Connolly has confirmed she is considering a guilty plea in a Peru court in a bid to get back to Ireland as quickly as possible.

The young Tyrone woman is awaiting trial on claims that she attempted to smuggle cocaine worth over $2million out of Lima airport.

She was arrested along with Scottish travelling companion Melissa Reid as they attempted to board a flight back to Spain. Reid has already agreed to plead guilty in order to receive a reduced even year sentence.

Now the 20-year-old McCollum-Connolly has told the Sunday Independent newspaper that she will consider entering a plea bargain to reduce her sentence whilst insisting she is innocent and the victim of a set-up by a brutal drug gang.

Speaking ahead of her trial on Tuesday, she said: “The only thing I want to do is get out of here and return home.”

Reid added: “The most important thing is to get out of here, and if that means pleading guilty, although we still say we were duped, we will do it.”

Peruvian lawyer Meyer Fishman told the paper the two women are unlikely to be sentenced on Tuesday.

The Irish girl also denied she was taking the charges lightly after criticism of her appearance in court before she was remanded to the low-security section of the Virgen de Fatima women’s prison in Chorrillos, south-west Lima.

She said: “I think people misinterpreted my reaction, thinking I was not taking what was happening seriously.

“When I get nervous, I smile and giggle. I can’t help it. It doesn’t mean I don’t take things seriously, because I do.

“The first court appearance caught us completely unawares. Neither we nor our families or lawyers knew the hearing was public until we were actually going into the court room.

“After that hearing, we were told we would be transferred to Santa Monica which is a larger women’s prison in the same district of Lima. It was only when we were in the van that we were told we were going to Fatima.

“My dad was waiting outside the other prison for us and eventually someone told him that we were not going there, we were being taken to Virgin de Fatima.”

McCollum-Connolly also said the two girls are struggling to cope with life in prison.

She said: “We get very excited when we hear we have visitors. It’s a real treat for us.”

“We have Spanish-English dictionaries and we get by using them and by gesturing to have conversations with the rest of the women.”

She did admit to initial problems with bed bugs in the prison and added: “I felt like my whole body was crawling with bugs.

“We went to the doctor who gave us an injection in the bum. They didn’t even ask what we had, they just gave us an injection and it worked.

“We cook the rice we are given for free, but I find eating so much rice very heavy. I’m not used to it.”

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: