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Michaella to be transferred to jail in the north

Drugs mule Michaella McCollum is coming home from Peru to serve out the rest of her prison sentence in Northern Ireland.

A solicitor for the 20-year-old, Kevin Winters, has confirmed that the Peruvian authorities have accepted a formal request to transfer Michaella from there.

However, it is understood that the process could take a number of months.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service will liaise with officials in the South American country to facilitate the move.

When she is brought home, she is likely to serve the remainder of her sentence at Ash House Women's Prison in Hydebank Wood, south Belfast, according to The Irish News.

Relieved

Mr Winters said her family were relieved to receive confirmation of the transfer.

"There has been a huge amount of engagement in the background to reach this point, and this is the outworking of that lengthy process," he said,

The solicitor added that it has been a "hugely stressful time" for Michaella and her family.

"They are anxious now to move to the next stage," he added.

From Co Tyrone, Michaella was detained with Scottish native Melissa Reid at Lima airport in August last year, after €1.5m of cocaine was found in their luggage.

Last December, she pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.

At the moment, she is in Ancon Dos, a maximum security facility, where there are more than 300 Europeans, most of them drug mules.

Prior to being jailed, Michaella enjoyed modelling.

She had been working in Ibiza last year when she vanished, triggering a missing persons appeal by her family.

The former photography student turned up in Peru where she was arrested at the airport with Reid in possession of coacaine.

In an RTE documentary aired last month, Michaella, Peru & the Drugs Run, her distraught mother Norah and sister Samantha broke down in tears when describing the conditions they witnessed at the prison when they were reunited with Michaella after eight months apart. They also revealed how the family had suffered throughout the ordeal.

hnews@herald.ie


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