06:17 26 September 2013
Michaella McCollum, of Dungannon, County Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, of Lenzie, near Glasgow, have appeared at a closed hearing in a court in Lima, Peru and have pleased guilty to attempting to smuggle 11kg of cocaine. They said they were forced into doing it.
The two 20 year olds were caught in August at Lima airport carrying cocaine, which is said to be worth £1.5million. The court said that they will be jailed for at least six years and eight months. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 1.
A court spokesman said: "They will automatically have a sixth off the minimum jail sentence of eight years and will be sentenced to six years and eight months in prison."
Meanwhile, McCollum's solicitor, Peter Madden, said: "I intend to travel to Lima next week to attend the sentencing hearing and after the sentence is handed down by the judge, it will be possible to make further comment."
The two women attempted to board a flight to Spain when they were stopped at Lima airport and the cocaine was found hidden in their food packets. Based on reports, they told Peruvian authorities that they were both kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to travel to Majorca. They also said that they were working in Ibiza and had not known each other before the alleged kidnapping incident.
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