Irish News

Saturday 12 July 2014

Father of Melissa Reid ‘not 100 per cent’ about Peru girls’ story

Published 25/08/2013|16:34

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Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid
Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid

THE father of one of the two women accused of trying to smuggle 24lbs (11kg) of cocaine out of Peru has indicated that he is not totally convinced by their version of events — and wants his daughter to plead guilty.

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William Reid said he was “not 100 per cent” sure about the accounts given by his daughter, Melissa, 20, and Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, who both claim they were forced to carry the drugs by a violent armed gang.

Mr Reid’s intervention came as statements made by both women at the Dirandro police station in Lima disclosed their claims about an encounter in the city when they say they were handed the drugs.

In her statement, Ms Reid said they were instructed to wrap them in their clothes and pack them in suitcases.

She described feeling “kind of relieved” after being apprehended by police at the airport.

Her father described the situation as a “nightmare” saying she should change her plea in order to reduce her sentence because “it’s indefensible to say that they didn’t have drugs or know they had drugs”.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “They should plead guilty. They should work with the authorities, tell them everything they know.”

He continued: “These girls are young. They may be living in cloud cuckoo land and thinking that magically next week they’re going to go free.”

Mr Reid, from Lenzie near Glasgow, visited the women in prison on Friday.

He added: “As I sit here tonight, I’m still not 100 per cent about their story. But two girls, who prior to Ibiza did not know each other, are telling a very similar story.

"They have been pretty consistent all along. Only those two girls know the truth."

Under Peruvian law the pair could be remanded in custody for up to three years before their trial.

They were arrested at Lima Airport early on Aug 6 as they tried to board a flight to Spain with more than 11lbs of cocaine each in their suitcases.

The drugs, worth €1.7m, were hidden inside food products.

If convicted of drug trafficking the pair, who had been working on the Balearic island of Ibiza, could face eight years in prison.

By Edward Malnick

Telegraph.co.uk

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