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Peru cocaine girl is innocent despite plea claims family

THE family of one of two British women convicted of trying to smuggle £1.5  million of cocaine out of Peru has insisted she is innocent.

The mother and sister of Michaella McCollum, 20, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, also vowed to mount a legal bid to get her to serve her sentence in a Northern Ireland jail.

McCollum along with co-accused Melissa Reid, 20, from Lenzie near Glasgow, pled guilty to drug smuggling in September.

They had faced the prospect of a maximum 15-year prison term but struck a behind-closed-doors plea bargain to secure a shorter sentence.

On Tuesday, they were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison, the shortest sentence they could have received.

McCollum's sister Samantha said:"In our opinion she will always be innocent."

"Michaella has never been in trouble before. We will all support her."

McCollum's mother Nora, who described her daughter as an "honest, hard-working girl", said she was "optimistic" after hearing the length of sentence.

Before pleading guilty, both women said Colombian drug lords kidnapped them and forced them to board a flight from Lima to Spain in August with 24lb of cocaine in food packets.

So far they have been held at the notorious Virgen de Fatima prison in Lima.

Contextual targeting label: 
Drugs

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