Peru drug mule Michaella McCollum Connolly released from prison

Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly

The 23-year-old was freed from the Ancon Dos jail in Lima but may have to spend six more years in the South American city.

McCollum Connolly, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and Scottish woman Melissa Reid were arrested at Lima Airport in August 2013 as the pair tried to fly to Madrid.

They were found with 11kg of cocaine hidden inside food packets in their luggage, which saw them jailed for six and a half years.

Bishop Sean Walsh, who visited Michaella McCollum in prison a few days ago, said that she has been granted parole.

"She has been granted parole to my very great surprise. She's going to be granted parole of six years and six months," he told

"I visited her several days ago. She is of course quite relieved and thankful to god that the course of life has gone this way.

"Probably she will remain in Lima. She will be allowed to work and study if she wants to do that.

"Being on parole means that she only has to check in with the clerk and the prison system office for special and psychological questioning and to ensure that she remains in the country."

Bishop Walsh added that he had heard that Michaella's co-accused Melissa has requested a transfer to her home country of Scotland.

Kevin Winters, McCollum's solicitor, said she was released effectively on parole on Thursday night and was waiting to hear the terms of her release.

"I can confirm Michaella has been released from jail and I'm waiting to hear the outcome of the judicial process," he told the Press Association.

It is not yet known whether the terms of her release will allow her to return home or if she will have to remain in Peru for some time.

McCollum was freed under new legislation on early prison release introduced in the South American country last year.

She has served two years and three months.

A judicial process will now determine what, if any, conditions are attached to her effective parole, it is understood.

Moves were being made to repatriate her to Northern Ireland.

Mr Winters had described the conditions of their detention as horrendous.