'I knew what I was doing' - Melissa Reid admits lying to police about being coerced to smuggle drugs
Drug smuggler Melissa Reid has admitted that she lied to the police and was aware of what she was doing, as she returns home to the UK after three years in jail.
The 22-year-old was caught with 23-year-old Michaella McCollum trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million from Peru to Spain in 2013.
She initially lied to police saying she was forced by armed gangsters to carry the cocaine but revealed to the Daily Mail that she did it for the “payment of £4,000” and the “thrill” of the crime.
“I knew what I was doing. I made a conscious decision to do it and no one forced me,” she told the paper.
Reid said she was on a “downward spiral” taking drugs and said if she hadn’t been arrested she would be “dead right now”.
She said an English girl introduced her into the world of drug smuggling and Reid soon got caught up in the “challenge”.
“I just wanted to be able to boast about it,” she said.
“I wasn't in the right state of mind. I was living this ridiculous life and wanted to show I could manage it."
The pair were caught at Lima Airport on August 6 2013 trying to board a flight with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine in food packets hidden in their luggage.
They claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs, but pleaded guilty to the charges.
The pair - nicknamed the "Peru Two" - were jailed for six years and eight months but only served three years.
McCollum was freed in March under new legislation but was required to remain on parole in Peru.
The 22-year-old appeared to be smiling as she was escorted through Lima Airport on Tuesday evening alongside her father by officials overseeing her deportation.
Reid said she worries about her future but hopes she can put it all behind her and resume family life.