A cellmate of Lord Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law has claimed she was ‘roughed up’ by police after being arrested for killing a Belizean cop.
Jasmine Hartin, 32, who is married to Andrew Ashcroft, the son of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, was hauled into a prison in the town of San Pedro in the early hours of last Friday after shooting superintendent Henry Jemmott.
The 42-year-old cop was killed by a bullet from his own Glock 17 handgun which Hartin says went off by accident after he handed it to her to look at while they were drinking on the Mata Rocks Hotel pier – not far from Grand Colony Villas, operated by Andrew Ashcroft.
Jemmot, who was in a long-term relationship, had earlier told a friend he was going on a date that night, but when probed on who the lady was, he replied that he would ‘take that to the grave.’
An inmate at the San Pedro cell block, named only as Jose, told local media he was asleep when Hartin, a mother-of-two, was brought in by officers in the early hours of the morning.
‘I noticed that she was really ****ed up. So I can’t say if she was doing drugs or what but she was really, she was lost that night,’ Jose told Channel 7.
‘To be real with you what I saw in the morning, in the night that they brought her, really they were roughing her up because it was a cop that died. So to be real with you, what I saw it wasn’t nice,’ he added.
The inmate claimed Hartin’s ‘clothes were full of blood’ and that she was swearing at police officers, asking them to give her a cigarette, but they refused, and then she demanded her medication.
Jose said: ‘So the cops took her inside and I don’t know if they gave her her medication or what but five minutes after they took her to the bathroom and a female police officer took off her clothes and put it in a bag, and they gave her some clothes.
‘She went to the bathroom to bathe, change off, and she came out and they locked her beside me and that’s when we started talking.’
Hartin, who is facing a charge of manslaughter by negligence, has so-far spent four days holed up in a tiny concrete cell at the stiflingly hot police and magistrates court complex in San Pedro.
The Canadian ex-pat will spend at least another week behind bars after a judge scheduled a court appearance for June 9, but will be locked up in a tougher prison – Hattieville – on the Belizean mainland after he denied her request for bail.
Jemmott’s family are considering bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against Hartin because they are unhappy with the manslaughter charge.
Police chief Henry Jemmott’s blood is seen at the end of the pier where he was shot at Mata Rocks in the island of Belize
Police superintendent Henry Jemmott told a friend he was going on a date the night he was killed by Jasmin Hartin, DailyMail.com can reveal
The blonde socialite 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
Police say Jemmott was found floating on his back 30ft from shore, while Ms Hartin was found ‘covered in red substance as that of blood’.
He had been killed by a 9mm bullet which hit him behind his right ear and was fired from his own gun. The handgun was nearby, with the empty shell casing that housed the fatal bullet still inside. It was loaded with another live bullet, while a second live round was found on the jetty.
The officer was rushed to a clinic and pronounced dead at 3:44am. A post-mortem confirmed the father-of-five died from a ‘massive brain haemorrhage due to gunshot wound to the head’.
Jemmott, a father-of-five, had earlier told a friend he was going on a date that night, boasting that he was also staying for free at the Grand Colony Villas in the posh coastal enclave of Ambergris Caye.
The resort is sandwiched between the gleaming new Alaia hotel, a recently-opened Ashcroft property, and the Mata Rocks hotel pier where Jemmott was found dead just a few hours after the conversation took place.
Hartin has told police that Jemmott had placed his service weapon on the ground while the pair were drinking in the early hours of Friday, and the she accidentally shot him as she passed the weapon back.
But firearms experts say that type of gun usually has a safety bar over the trigger to stop accidental discharge and that both elements have to be depressed for the weapon to fire.
Michael Van Durme a former cop who now teaches gun safety in America told The Sun: ‘You have to have a firm grip on the trigger and pull it all the way back for it to go off.
‘It has a safety built into the trigger – there’s a lever in the middle of it which also has to be pulled back the whole way in order for it to shoot. If you brush up against it or just hit the edge of it, it won’t fire.’
The friend, who asked not to be named, said Jemmott contacted him last week to say he was headed to San Pedro, the main settlement and tourism hub in Ambergris Caye, where he had previously served as a senior officer for three years.
‘I asked him where he was staying and he said Grand Colony. I said, what? You have money then?’ the friend told DailyMail.com.
‘He said, I have stripes with the Ashcrofts, they are my friends. I said, you’re with the rich people now and he laughed.’
The friend said he knew of at least one previous occasions when Jemmott had stayed at Grand Colony Villas for free.
Hours before he was found dead, Jemmott was in good spirits and was looking forward to meeting a mystery woman, the friend added.
‘He was the happiest cop you’ll ever see but he’s always like that. I said where are you going tonight and he said, I have a date.
‘He called the girl. When I heard the voice I asked who she was. He joked, that’s my secret, this one I’m taking to my grave and he did take it.
‘I’m struggling to cope with what has happened.’
The criminal complaint revealed Hartin’s clothing, which were also stained with blood, were recovered as evidence and her hands were swabbed
The 32-year-old socialite pulled her hoodie over her face and carried a plastic bag containing her belongings as she was led to a boat waiting to transport her to prison
The friend said he didn’t know the Ashcrofts personally but had heard previous accounts of Jasmine partying beyond curfew.
Hartin’s attorney Godfrey Smith said outside the courthouse in downtown Belize City: ‘The matter has been adjourned. The public prosecution filed a short statement, just one sentence saying we object on the basis of flight risk, nothing further.’
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos showed also revealed Hartin being led away from a police cell in handcuffs Tuesday as authorities transferred her to Belize Central Prison in Hattieville.
Fellow inmate Jose, who was in the neighboring cell, told local media that Ms Hartin had been ‘roughed up’
Wearing jeans, a red hoodie and black face mask she kept her head bowed in silence as she left the stiflingly hot San Pedro police station and court complex flanked by the fallen officer’s former comrade, clutching only a plastic bag that mostly obscured her handcuffs.
She was put on the back of a golf cart which was driven to a secluded port five minutes from the station before she was placed on a boat bound for the mainland.
Sources believe Hartin will ultimately escape with just a fine for killing Jemmott after authorities opted against a murder or full-fledged manslaughter charge.
She told investigators the shooting was an accident and that she was passing the Glock to her ‘friend’ when it accidentally went off.
Sources predict she will plead guilty within weeks and pay around 20,000 Belizean dollars (around $10,000 in US money) to secure her freedom.
The party-loving hotelier was also caught with a small amount of cocaine in her purse, according to a well-placed source, but has not been charged over it.
Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams said Wednesday that Hartin could still face additional charges for drugs possession.
‘That is something that, I’m not too sure at this time where that small amount of drugs was found, but it is something that will be looked at,’ he told reporters.
Earlier this week, Jemmott’s sister Cherry, 48 – an assistant superintendent in the Belize Police Department – slammed the decision to charge Hartin with manslaughter by negligence.
Jemmott joked with the friend that he would take his secret ‘to the grave’ when he asked for details of the mystery women. Jemmott is pictured with his sister
Late on Thursday evening, Hartin left her luxury hotel, Alaia (pictured) and walked a short distance down a beach to a small wooden jetty to meet Jemmott. Jemmott, 42, had also boasted that he was staying for free at a luxury resort operated by Hartin’s husband Andrew Ashcroft
‘It’s not right. It’s not right. The family will feel really bad. This is not justice,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘My brother will have a state funeral on June 12. He gave 24 years to the police. And this is the value they put on his life?’
Lord Ashcroft, 75, is a former deputy chairman and key financial backer of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party.
He also holds Belizean citizenship, has invested heavily in the country and has represented it at the United Nations.
His son, 42-year-old Andrew, is in a long-term relationship with Ms Hartin and the pair have two young children together.
It’s not known whether the couple are currently living in the Alaia or the Grand Colony Villas, or whether Andrew and their two young children are still on Ambergris Caye.
Both properties offer spectacular views of the Caribbean sea, an assortment of swimming pools and luxurious rooms costing hundreds of dollars per night.