independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Michaella McCollum Connolly bitten by bugs in Peru prison

THE Irish woman accused of trying to smuggle cocaine to Europe has received medical treatment in a Peruvian prison after suffering from a reaction to bug bites.

Michaella McCollum Connolly, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, from Lenzie, near Glasgow, both 20, are accused of attempting to smuggle cocaine worth €1.7m out of the South American country.

Dubbed the 'Peru Two', Michaella and her Scottish friend are being held at the assessment centre of the prison in Lima – which houses murderers and high-profile terrorists – while they await trial, and could face 15 years in prison if found guilty.

In a television interview yesterday, Melissa Reid's distraught mother, Debra, revealed both young women needed injections to control swelling after suffering bad bites.

Mrs Reid said she was pleased the "very close" duo were being held together and confirmed they had to have cold showers among other tough conditions.

They had previously complained about it being cold, having no blankets and poor- quality food.

"They've actually been bitten by some bugs that are in the assessment unit they are being held in," Mrs Reid added. "I believe they've had to have an injection to try and stop them from (swelling up)."

"Melissa is just happy to get a shower, but it is a cold shower – you can't get hot water.

"The language barrier (is difficult), she's determined to learn Spanish so she can speak to the guards and fellow prisoners."

Irish Independent

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