Drug mule Melissa Reid could be back in Scotland ‘in time for 21st birthday party’ after Peru requests permission to send her home

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty along with Michaella McCollum to smuggling £1.5m of cocaine

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The convicted drug mule Melissa Reid could be set to return to Scotland, after it emerged that the authorities in Peru have submitted an application to repatriate her to the UK.

The Scottish Prison Service has confirmed it received a letter from the Peruvian government, which is seeking permission for the 20-year-old to see out the vast majority of her seven-year prison sentence in her home country.

Reid was found smuggling cocaine with Michaella McCollum, also 20, at Lima Airport on 6 August. Between them they were attempting to board a flight with 24lb of the drug, with a street value of around £1.5 million.

The pair were sentenced to eight years in September, but had the term reduced to six years and eight months because they pleaded guilty.

Reid's father, from Lenzie, near Glasgow, said he has met with Scotland's justice secretary Kenny MacAskill and is hopeful that his daughter will serve the rest of her sentence closer to home.

It is understood that in most cases prisoner transfer applications are approved.

Billy Reid, 54, told the Mail on Sunday: “I had a very positive meeting with Kenny MacAskill and he reassured me that Scotland has no issue (with) accepting Melissa back to serve her sentence here.

“We understand the Scottish Government can't promise to magic her back home and they won't pull any strings, but it was very comforting to hear that they are not against any move.”

According to the newspaper, Reid sent her parents an excited message in reaction to the news which read: “I am so surprised that my request is being dealt with so quickly and urgently and although I know it has not yet been accepted, I feel confident about the process now after having some news so quickly. Who knows, I could be out of this place before my 21st birthday and that would really be a dream.”

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received an application from Peru for the transfer of a prisoner.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Justice Secretary had a private meeting with Mr Reid.

“Prisoner transfers are a matter for the Scottish Prison Service.

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has responsibility for UK citizens imprisoned abroad. We have been in touch with them regarding Melissa Reid and have asked to be kept informed of developments.”