Lord Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law Jasmine Hartin, 32, is pictured in jail after she was charged with manslaughter for fatal shooting of Belize cop ‘during night of drinking’ but could still avoid prison by paying hefty FINE
- Jasmine Hartin, the daughter-in-law of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, has been charged with manslaughter by negligence over the death of Belize Superintendent Henry Jemmott
- On Monday night a court in San Pedro denied her bail application, her lawyer Godfrey Smith confirmed
- The Canadian could be sentenced five years in prison, or she could be let off with just a fine
- Sources with knowledge of the island’s secretive justice system said the fine could be around $10,000 USD
- Jemmott, 42, was found dead in the water off San Pedro island with a gunshot wound to his head early Friday
- Prior to his death, he had been drinking with wealthy Hartin, 32, a Canadian socialite
- Hartin told detectives she was giving the officer a massage moments before his death, according to local news reports
- Hartin was being held at San Pedro police station jail, which a local described as ‘hell on earth’
PUBLISHED: 01:23, 1 June 2021 | UPDATED: 10:48, 1 June 2021
Canadian socialite Jasmine Hartin has been pictured in jail after she was charged with manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of a prominent police officer in Belize – and could escape with just a fine, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Jasmine Hartin, 32, who is married to the son of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, was taken into custody last Friday after Superintendent Henry Jemmott, 42, was shot behind the ear with his own revolver.
Jemmott had arrived in San Pedro last week, enjoying a fishing trip and hitting some bars with a friend while staying at a downtown hotel.Dailymail.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Daily MailPauseNext video0:01 / 1:50SettingsFull-screenRead More
In her statement to police, Hartin claims she invited the veteran officer to her apartment where the pair drank and discussed her personal security.
She told cops they later walked a short distance to the wooden pier by the Mata Rocks hotel, which was closed because of the pandemic.
Hartin told police that Jemmott said he was suffering from shoulder pain so she offered him a massage while he placed his service weapon on the dock.
It was when she picked it up to pass it back to him that that loaded gun fired accidentally, according to the statement.
Hartin was found at the scene by a security guard ‘hysterical’ and covered in blood, but clammed up and summoned a lawyer once she was in police custody, sources said.
The blonde socialite has spent the past four days holed up in a tiny concrete cell at the stiflingly hot police and magistrates court complex in San Pedro, the tropical resort’s only town.
She was seen pictured behind bars by local media in Belize on Monday evening. +12
The blonde socialite has spent the past four days holed up in a tiny concrete cell at the stiflingly hot police and magistrates court complex in San Pedro, the tropical resort’s only town. She was pictured behind bars by local media on Monday evening+12
Jasmine Hartin is pictured with her husband Andrew Ashcroft at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new resort on May 7
Hartin was arraigned behind a cloak of secrecy on Monday in San Pedro, despite authorities insisting the glamorous mother-of-two would not receive any preferential treatment.
Police abruptly ejected reporters and members of the public from the building before she was taken from the tiny, concrete holding cell to the court, one floor above, at around 3:30pm local time.
Officers cited COVID social distancing rules that ban assemblies of more than ten people, though more than double that amount were stood in a waiting room earlier in the day.
Hartin will spend another night in a squalid Belize jail cell after her attorney, Godfrey Smith, emerged from the courthouse late Monday saying his client had been denied bail.
‘The charge is manslaughter by negligence. Bail has been denied. We appeal to the Supreme Court as is normal,’ he said.
Police Commissioner Chester Williams said on Sunday morning that Hartin had given a statement under caution and a file was passed on to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.
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The punishment for manslaughter can be ‘life’ in prison – up to 25 years – in the Belizean criminal system.
However Hartin is facing a maximum of five years, sources told DailyMail.com.
Sources with knowledge of the island’s secretive justice system said the punishment could alternatively be just a fine of around $20,000 Belizean dollars, or $10,000 in US money.
One of the officer’s sisters, Marie Jemmott Tzul, told DailyMail.com on Sunday night that Hartin was about to be charged and would make her first court appearance within days.
‘I got a call, but they did not say what she was going to be charged with,’ said Marie, 55.
Hartin told investigators the Glock pistol went off accidentally as she handed it to Jemmott, according to local reports.
The Belize Police Department Police could not be reached to discuss the report.