Belfast Telegraph

Peru Two: Drugs smuggler Michaella McCollum claims prison guard stroked her face and asked for a kiss

BY VICTORIA O'HARA

Drugs smuggler Michaella McCollum has spoken of how a prison guard allegedly stroked her face and asked her for a kiss in a Peru cell after she was caught trafficking cocaine.

The Dungannon woman said she was targeted by the guard as she waited to appear in court in Lima.

The 20-year-old was with Scottish woman Melissa Reid in a holding cell of the Superior Court of Callao last year when the incident happened. She still insists a Colombian drug gang forced her to carry cocaine.

Along with Reid, she has been sentenced to six years and eight months for attempting to smuggle more than 11kg of cocaine worth £1.5m out of the South American country.

They were caught before they even reached the check-in desk at the airport in the capital Lima.

Speaking to the Sunday Life, the 20-year-old told of her experience in the holding cell of the court, known as 'Justice Palace'.

"We were sharing an underground cell with rapists and murderers," she said.

"There was this one man there who had raped a four-year-old.

"We must have been there all day and you had to use the toilet in front of everyone. I'd been choking for a cigarette in there – I hadn't had one for two days.

"There was a guard in the corner and I went over to him and said, 'I will give you 20 soles for a cigarette and a light'.

"He did, but then he started touching my face and asking for a kiss. I screamed for Melissa so he would stop."

For the past five months Michaella has been held in Virgen de Fatima, a Peruvian jail which holds 400 males and females.

She also spoke of prisoners stealing her clothes and said she was forced to borrow items from Melissa Reid.

STORY SO FAR

Imprisoned Dungannon woman Michaella McCollum has admitted taking drugs while in Ibiza, but maintains she was forced into the drug smuggling plot that was foiled at an airport in Peru last year. The 20-year-old, with Melissa Reid from Scotland, claim they were coerced into smuggling drugs by armed criminals they say kidnapped them in Ibiza, where they were working.

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