Saturday 3 December 2016

'I made a decision in a moment of madness. I'm not a bad person...'

Published 03/04/2016 | 02:30

ON PAROLE: Drug smuggler Michaella McCollum yesterday, recording an interview for RTE television
ON PAROLE: Drug smuggler Michaella McCollum yesterday, recording an interview for RTE television

Drugs mule Michaella McCollum has publicly spoken for the first time since her release from prison in Peru - and admitted that her decision to take part in smuggling 11kgs of cocaine was a "moment of madness".

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Ms McCollum was arrested two-and-a-half years ago for possession of almost €2m worth of smuggled cocaine.

She and Scottish national Melissa Reid were caught at Lima Airport with the drugs hidden in their luggage.

Sporting a new blonde hairstyle during an interview to be broadcast tonight on RTE, Ms McCollum expressed regret at her actions, saying: "I made a decision in a moment of madness… I'm not a bad person.. I want to demonstrate that I'm a good person.

"If the drugs had of got back [to Europe] what could have happened, I probably would have had a lot of blood on my hands. I potentially could have filled Europe full of a lot of drugs.

"I could have potentially killed a lot of people, not directly but I could have caused a lot of harm to people."

The 23-year-old was holidaying in Ibiza in 2013 when she disappeared before turning up a week and a half later in Lima airport where she was arrested.

Having been originally imprisoned for six years and eight months, Michaella's solicitors have secured her release after less than three years.

She said: "I've forgotten the things that everybody takes for granted in life.

"Seeing the sun, seeing the darkness, seeing the moon and the stars, things I haven't seen in almost three years."

The full interview will be broadcast on RTE One at 9.30pm tonight.

Sunday Independent

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