Jasmine Hartin: Daughter-in-law of Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft taken to prison after policeman shot dead in Belize
(SKY NEWS) – The daughter-in-law of Conservative grandee Lord Ashcroft has been taken from her police cell and transferred to a Belizean prison.
Jasmine Hartin, the partner of Michael Ashcroft’s son Andrew, has been charged with manslaughter by negligence after a police superintendent was shot dead in Belize.
On Monday, the 32-year-old was unexpectedly denied bail and told she will be remanded in prison.
Wearing a red hoodie and a black face mask, she was handcuffed and escorted from San Pedro police station, on one of the country’s islands and where she has been held since Friday, and on to the back of a golf cart.
Hartin was transferred to a boat, which landed at the Barracks Dock in Belize City, before being taken in a blue police van on a 30-minute drive to the country’s Central Prison.
Hartin’s lawyers were urgently seeking a Supreme Court hearing to free her before she reached the facility – thought to be home to 1,150 inmates.
They were unable to overturn the decision of a local magistrate, who said the mother-of-two was too much of a flight risk to go free, the Daily Mail reported.
Lawyer Godfrey Smith told reporters: “The charge is manslaughter by negligence.
“Bail has been denied. We appeal to the Supreme Court, as is normal.”
Mr Smith said Hartin’s lawyers would have a statement Tuesday.
Hartin was found on a dock near to where 42-year-old superintendent Henry Jemmott’s body was discovered in the town of San Pedro early on Friday.
Police Commissioner Chester C Williams told local media that a single gunshot was heard “and upon investigating, police found the female on a pier, and she had what appeared to be blood on her arms and on her clothing”.
“A firearm was also seen on the pier that has been retrieved and we have learned that the firearm belonged to the police and was assigned to Mr Jemmott,” he told a news conference.
Hartin’s father-in-law Lord Ashcroft is a former deputy chairman and a major financial backer of the Conservative Party.
He also has Belizean citizenship and was once its representative before the United Nations.
Mr Williams added that the incident “seems rather personal and not an attack”.
“From what we know is that they are friends. From what we have been made to understand they were drinking. From investigation, they were alone on the pier and yes they were both fully clothed.”
He said Hartin “was somewhat in an emotional state walking herself on the pier. We believe that she is to some extent affected by it”.
LinkedIn accounts indicate that Hartin and her husband were connected with a local resort in Belize.
Mr Jemmott’s sister, Marie Jemmott Tzul, told 7 News Belize television that her brother loved life and was the father of five children.
She added that the only information the family had was that he was with a woman they did not know and his body was found in the water.