British women accused of smuggling £1.5m of cocaine out of Peru 'to plead guilty'
Melissa Reid's lawyer is said to have agreed a plea bargain with prosecutors that could see her released within three years
One of two British women accused of trying to smuggle £1.5m of cocaine out of Peru has said she will plead guilty after her lawyer came to a deal with prosecutors that included a reduced sentence.
Melissa Reid from Lenzie, near Glasgow and Michaella McCollum, from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland were stopped at Lima International Airport , trying to board a flight to Spain on August 6.
Customs officials found the drugs hidden in food packages in their luggage. The pair, both 20, claimed they had been forced at gunpoint to carry them.
On Friday, Miss Reid said her lawyer had stuck a plea bargain with prosecutors whereby she will plead guilty to drug trafficking in return for a sentence of six years and eight month sentence. Her family say they have been told that under the Peruvian legal system, she could be released in three years.
Crucially, prosecutors say they will drop the charge that she was being paid to carry the drugs, which would amount to a more serious crime.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday from prison, Miss Reid said: "After a lot of thought and advice from my lawyer I am going to go in front of the judge and admit I was in possession of the drugs and that I went to Peru to pick up drugs to take to Spain - I am willing to plead guilty to that.
"I did it under duress, I still maintain that, and I am glad I do not have to say I accepted money to do it.
"I am aware that I will have a drugs conviction, which could cause me many problems, but I am trying not to focus on that."
She said she had reached the decision with her family in mind and an eye to getting home.
"Pleading guilty is going to enable me to get back to my family in Scotland sooner rather than later.
"I do not want to be in jail until 35 - I can't get back those years."
"I am really scared about what I am about to do but I am also relieved that there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.
"I'm now coming to terms with the fact I am so far away from my family. This is real."
Miss McCollum's lawyer reportedly suggested that her client will also plead guilty, saying: "It could happen".
Miss Reid and Miss McCollum had been working in bars in Ibiza when they claim they were forced to carry the cocaine by a British drug gang who held them at gunpoint and threatened their families.
Miss Reid said they had initially planned to plead innocence in the hope the drug gang would be caught, but said that strategy was now "too risky".
Speaking to the newspaper, she also described Miss McCollum as "like a sister" to her and said the paid "keep each other going".
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after light aircraft crash lands
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has now arisen for a Sale...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued growth an exce...
£37000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has a track record...