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Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly Photo by: Facebook

'Peru Two' may serve prison sentence in UK if they plead guilty

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Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly Photo by: Facebook

The Irish woman at the center of a drug smuggling investigation in Peru could be allowed to serve her sentence in the UK if she pleads guilty.

Michaella McCollum Connolly from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone and co-accused Scottish woman Melissa Reid were arrested in August after police discovered $2.5 million worth of cocaine in their suitcases at Lima Airport when they tried to board a flight to Madrid.

The women maintain they were forced at gunpoint by a Spanish drug gang to smuggle the cocaine.

The pair, both 20, have been told they could spend 15 years in a Peruvian jail if convicted of attempting to smuggle the class A drugs.

However a prosecutor confirmed that the two young women could serve their sentences in the UK if they admit to the offence.

Prosecutor Luis Mendoza told Sky News the women may be entitled to return to the UK for their jail terms.

“The British citizens agree to the position of the Public Ministry, if they continue with their strategy they can go to trial," he said.

“However, they are able to qualify for an early termination, which means they probably could get a sentence of six to eight years maximum. It's very possible that they may complete their sentence in the United Kingdom.

"There is an agreement in our country that those convicted can choose an early termination procedure, assuming their guilt and paying civil damages and agreeing to the judgement, meaning there is no kind of appeal."

Reid’s family have already urged their daughter to plead guilty in the hopes of a more lenient sentence.

Although they maintain the girls were forced to smuggle drugs, they indicated their priority was to get her home.

"We still believe she was coerced into it, but obviously now we realise she needs to plead guilty, just to get her home basically," according to her mother Debbie Reid.

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