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Michaella McCollum Connolly to plead guilty to Peru drug charges

Peru

IRISH woman Michaella McCollum Connolly has decided to plead guilty when she appears in court today in Peru.

The Co Tyrone woman was arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle cocaine out of the country last month, along with Scottish national Melissa Reid.

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Ms McCollum Connolly, from Dungannon,  and Ms Reid, from Glasgow, claim they were forced to carry the drugs, which were concealed in food packages, by an armed gang who threatened their family members.

However, they have decided to plead guilty to simplify the courts process after Ms Reid had previously indicated that she would be changing her plea.

Ms McCollum Connolly said last night: “I understand that the (judicial) process will be simpler if we both plead guilty.

“We are hoping that we will not have to wait too long before we are sentenced and pleading guilty will speed things up,” she added.

She added that both she and Ms Reid were “nervous” about appearing in court and anxious to learn their fate.

The fundraising page set up for Michaella McCollum Connolly
The fundraising page set up for Michaella McCollum Connolly

“We have heard so many rumours about the possibility of early release or serving our sentence at home, that it is difficult to know what to believe.

“We are trying not to get our hopes up,” she added.

The women’s lawyer is likely to argue that both women be returned to serve their sentence in Britain, however, it is unlikely that sentencing will take place today.

Ms McCollum Connolly and Ms Reid, both aged 20, have been in prison since last month after they were caught with more than £1.5m worth of cocaine in their suitcases at Lima Airport.

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