Drugs mule Melissa Reid tastes first day of freedom

Melissa Reid
Melissa Reid

Lenzie woman Melissa Reid, jailed in Peru for smuggling drugs is back home tasting her first full day of freedom after being released from jail.

The 22-year-old was arrested with Michaella McCollum, of Co Tyrone, after being caught with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine at Lima airport in 2013.

They struck a plea deal for a reduced sentence of six years and eight months.

Reid, who was expelled from Peru under an early release scheme, arrived at Glasgow Airport on Wednesday evening.

She touched down in Glasgow around 9.30pm after travelling from Lima, via Amsterdam, with her father William.

She did not appear before waiting media at the international arrivals area, and is thought to have accepted an airside transfer.

It is understood Reid will not have a criminal record in the UK as a result of her Peruvian conviction.

Any offences she committed in the UK before she became a drugs mule would remain.

McCollum, 23, was released at the end of March under parole conditions which mean that she has to remain in Peru for an undisclosed period of time.

Melissa Reid touched down in Glasgow on a flight from Amsterdam.

Reid has served about a third of her sentence and under Peruvian law was eligible to be deported according to the early release scheme for foreign prisoners.

She has also paid a fine of 10,000 Peruvian soles, just over £2,000.

A spokeswoman for Peru’s prison service, Janeth Sanchez, said Reid “served her time in prison according to the law and can now go to her country, free”.

A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman confirmed it was not involved with Reid’s case.

Both Reid and McCollum were caught with an estimated £1.5m-worth of cocaine at Lima airport on 6 August 2013 while attempting to board a flight to Madrid, in Spain.

The cocaine was discovered in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

They had initially claimed they were forced to carry the drugs, but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

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.

Following her release, McCollum told the Irish broadcaster RTE she had been “very naive, so young and very insecure”.

Reid’s father William has previously said the impact of his daughter’s imprisonment on his family had been “horrendous”.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We continue to provide assistance to Melissa Reid and remain in contact with her family and local authorities.”