Glasgow & West Scotland

Ruling on drugs mule Melissa Reid 'due soon'

Melissa Reid Image copyright Splash News
Image caption Melissa Reid attended a hearing in Lima to decide whether she should be transferred to a Scottish prison

A judge in Peru will rule "in the next few days" whether drugs mule Melissa Reid should be expelled from the country, the Foreign Office has said.

A hearing in Lima on Tuesday also considered whether she should be transferred to a Scottish prison.

The 22-year-old, from Lenzie near Glasgow, and Michaella McCollum, from Co Tyrone, were jailed in 2013 for cocaine smuggling.

The pair admitted attempting to smuggle the drugs from Peru to Spain.

They were both sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.

A spokesman for the Briish embassy in Lima had previously said that Reid had been granted expulsion, but the Foreign Office said the judge had so far not made a decision in the case.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Michaella McCollum, left, and Melissa Reid were jailed in 2013

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said it has had no contact from the Peruvian authorities about Reid.

But it is understood the SPS believes she may be expelled from Peru without having to serve the remainder of her sentence.

An SPS spokesman said it would only be notified if she was set to serve the remainder of her sentence in Scotland.

McCollum, 23, was freed last month under new legislation on early prison release introduced in Peru last year, after serving two years and three months.

However, it is anticipated she will have to remain in Peru for a considerable period as part of her parole conditions.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Michaella McCollum was freed on parole in Peru earlier this month after serving more than two years in jail

McCollum and Reid were caught with the haul at Lima airport on 6 August 2013 while attempting to fly to Spain.

They had claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

The pair were caught trying to board a flight with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

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

'Horrendous impact'

They had previously been held at Lima's Virgen de Fatima prison but were moved to the Ancon 2 prison, where McCollum was reportedly crammed into a cell with 30 other prisoners with poor sanitation and toilet facilities.

The SPS agreed in principle to a transfer in 2014 and Reid has been awaiting approval from the Peruvian authorities, who need to consent to her serving the remainder of her sentence under Scots Law.

Reid's father Billy has previously said that the impact of his daughter's crime on his family had been "horrendous".

He said: "Melissa has spent her own 20th and 21st birthdays in prison in Peru.

"She missed the significant event of her only brother's wedding. Events such as Christmas are non-existent for us. There'll be no celebrations in our house, there'll be no Christmas tree until we get her back home."

Mr Reid spoke out in a video warning of the consequences of drug offences abroad.

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