Wednesday 29 March 2017

Drug mule Melissa Reid on way home after release from prison in Peru

Melissa Reid walks next to immigration officers before boarding a flight at Lima's airport in Callao, Peru, June 21. Photo: Reuters
Melissa Reid walks next to immigration officers before boarding a flight at Lima's airport in Callao, Peru, June 21. Photo: Reuters
Melissa Reid walks next to her father William Reid, second right, before boarding the flight in Lima, Peru
Melissa Reid is escorted by immigration officers before boarding a flight at Lima's airport in Callao, Peru
Melissa Reid walks next to immigration officers before boarding a flight at Lima's airport in Callao, Peru
Melissa Reid walks next to an immigration officer before boarding a flight at Lima's airport in Callao, Peru
Melissa Reid walks next to an immigration officer before boarding a flight at Lima's airport in Callao, Peru

Drug smuggler Melissa Reid is set to return to Britain after spending nearly three years in jail 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, from Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, was caught with 23-year-old Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million from Peru to Spain in 2013.

The pair - nicknamed the "Peru Two" - were jailed for six years and eight months after admitting the offence.

Michaella McCollum and Scotswoman Melissa Reid stand as they are questioned by police in Lima airport in 2013
Michaella McCollum and Scotswoman Melissa Reid stand as they are questioned by police in Lima airport in 2013
File photo December 17, 2013: Melissa Reid. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid are escorted by police as they enter the Justice Court of Callao in 2013. Photo: Reuters
Michaella McCollum arriving at court in Peru in 2013

However, in May a judge granted Reid's expulsion early under a scheme for deporting foreign inmates. It is understood she will return to Britain a free woman, travelling back to Scotland via a European airport.

McCollum was freed in March under new legislation but was required to remain on parole in Peru.

Read More: Over half a million tune in to watch controversial Michaella McCollum RTE interview

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.

McCollum and Reid faced the prospect of a maximum 15-year prison term but struck a behind-closed-doors plea bargain to secure the shorter sentence.

Reid's father, Billy, has previously said the impact of his daughter's crime on his family had been ''horrendous'' and spoke out in a video warning of the consequences of drug offences abroad.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We continue to provide assistance to Melissa Reid and remain in contact with her family and local authorities."

A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman said it was not involved in Reid's case and could not comment on any arrangements for her return to the UK.

Melissa Reid walks next to her father William Reid, second right, before boarding the flight in Lima, Peru
Melissa Reid walks next to her father William Reid, second right, before boarding the flight in Lima, Peru

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