Melissa Reid to be released from Prison in Peru

She was imprisoned for cocaine smuggling in 2013 alongside Michaella McCollum from Tyrone

Melissa Reid to be released from Prison in Peru

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid

Authorities in Peru say convicted British drugs mule Melissa Reid is to be released from prison and returned to the UK.

The 22-year-old, from Scotland, was imprisoned in 2013 along with Michaella McCollum, from Co Tyrone, after they admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5m from Peru to Spain.

Reid had been seeking to serve the remainder of her sentence closer to home in the UK following her conviction.

A Peruvian court on Thursday said Reid has shown remorse for the crime, and authorities agreed to release her.

Peru's National Office for Migration and the British Embassy in Peru are being informed of the decision so arrangements can be made for Reid to be returned to the UK.

McCollum was freed in March under new legislation on early prison release introduced in Peru last year after serving two years and three months.

However, it is anticipated she will have to remain in Peru for a considerable period as part of her parole conditions.

Reid and McCollum were caught with the haul at Lima airport in August 2013 while attempting to fly to Spain.

They had claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

The pair were caught trying to board a flight with 11kg of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

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

Reid's father Billy has previously spoke about the impact of his daughter's crime on his family.

He said: "It's horrendous to see your daughter in handcuffs and the living conditions that she has to put up with. Melissa has spent her own 20th and 21st birthdays in prison in Peru."

"She missed the significant event of her only brother's wedding. Events such as Christmas are non-existent for us. There'll be no celebrations in our house, there'll be no Christmas tree until we get her back home."