Suzanne Breen: I've zero sympathy for drug smuggling, spoilt brat Michaella McCollum
Published 02/04/2016 | 13:40
So, Michaella McCollum has been released from prison in Peru and could be heading back to Northern Ireland soon.
Don't expect me to be tying yellow ribbons for the welcome home party.
This spoilt, selfish drug-smuggling brat has got off incredibly lightly, serving only a two years and three months sentence.
I despise Michaella, not just for being busted with £1.5m (€1.87m) worth of cocaine, but for the litany of lies she told.
Had she said: "Yep, I was offered £10,000 and an all-expenses holiday to carry drugs. I took a chance, I was stupid, and I'm sorry", that would have been refreshing. Instead, Michaella played the victim and tried to play us.
We were led to believe that a grave miscarriage of justice had occurred where an innocent Irish girl and her friend had been grievously wronged.
Well, the Peru Two weren't a contemporary Guildford Four.
Michaella told a chilling story of being kidnapped at gunpoint by drug lords who threatened her family.
"One of the men showed me pictures of my sister and brother… that scared me," she gushed.
This manipulative little minx trotted out baloney about bad men who had preyed on her at every opportunity, and she changed her story so many times that I lost count.
The texts Michaella exchanged with Melissa on landing in Lima Airport show her true colours.
"I hate this place and people already," she declared.
"Lima is s**t," her friend replied.
This arrogant pair thought they could flit over to some Third World country and make easy money without giving a hoot about where the drugs came from or who was killed along the way before they got them - and trash Peru's reputation into the bargain.
Michaella McCollum has never apologised for lying to us, nor have her family apologised for her untrue claims. Indeed, they launched an appeal fund for her, expecting us to help foot her legal bills. Thankfully, that was a spectacular failure.
Even after her courtroom guilty plea her family went on TV to say they believed that she had committed no crime.
It reached almost comic proportions when they described her as an "honest, hard-working girl" with a strong religious faith.
With her long, dark hair and big eyes, the Irish colleen appeal was set to tug at our heart-strings. Look what those awful foreigners are doing to "our girl" was the line her supporters spun.
There was not only misplaced patriotism, but sexism and snobbery at work too.
Michaella McCollum was a pretty, young college girl from a respectable family.
As Michaella is freed, thousands of other indigenous young men and women guilty of similar offences rot in jails in Peru, and no one will write articles about how they cope with blocked toilets, cockroaches, dirty drinking water and inedible food.
By contrast, the future for our local lass looks bright. She has wannabe celebrity criminal written all over her.
A book, My Nightmare In A Peruvian Prison Hellhole, and the chat show circuit surely beckons.
Whoever is sorting out the conditions of her parole should write in clauses to prevent this. Otherwise, we'll be subjected to Michaella's sob stories in perpetuity.