Socialite Jasmine Hartin was charged with manslaughter by negligence (Image: Copyright unknown)
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The “daughter-in-law” of billionaire Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft downed shots of booze before accidentally killing a policeman in Belize, a court has heard.
Jasmine Hartin, 32, was charged with manslaughter by negligence after dad-of-five Supt Henry Jemmott, 42, was fatally injured by a bullet from his own gun.
Events that led to the killing were revealed during a hearing when prosecutors in Belize failed to prevent Hartin being released on bail.
After returning to her family, she yesterday made her first visit to San Ignacio police station where she must report daily as one of her eight bail conditions.
At the bail hearing, prosecutors said Hartin indicated to detectives she was drinking and downing shots before Supt Jemmott let her handle his gun.
Superintendent Jemmott was found with a fatal wound
Hartin told police in her sworn statement read out in court: “He said, ‘let’s head back inside’ and asked me to hand back the magazine. I struggled with it, trying to get the magazine back in, and it discharged.”
She reportedly told police she did not know a bullet was in the chamber.
Canadian socialite Hartin, who has twins with her partner Andrew Ashcroft, 43 – the son of Lord Michael Ashcroft – appeared at the hearing via video link from jail.
Hartin was granted release on £10,500 bail. She was seen leaving Hattieville prison under a blanket before getting into a waiting vehicle.
Other bail conditions include not leaving the Central American country. Her defence counsel said Supt Jemmott was also drinking.
The officer was found dead in the water by a pier in San Pedro in May. Hartin reportedly told police: “Henry fell on top of me. As I was wriggling to get free so I could… see if he was OK, he slipped into the water.”
She and Mr Ashcroft run hotels in Belize. He describes her as his wife but a family spokesman said they are not married.
The charge Hartin faces could result in a fine or a prison term of up to five years.