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Jasmine Hartin is pictured in jail after she was charged with manslaughter

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 - but could escape with just a fine, 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.

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.

Police are trying to understand how Henry Jemmott ended up dead, shot with his own police service weapon; a single bullet hole piercing the skin behind his right ear

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.

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

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 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.

An officer who was among the first on the scene suggested that Jemmott fell on to Hartin after he was shot, and he fell into the water when she pushed him off.

Marie, a retired social worker, told 'I haven't seen the news because I'm so overwhelmed and devastated by my brother's death.

'I can't can speculate over whether they will bail her or she will stay in prison, because I don't know the charge yet.

'What I would say to Jasmine is, give closure to the family. Tell us what happened. We want to know for the benefit of our family.

He was my only brother.

'He had five children and a partner for 14 years. Every time I look at my nieces and my nephews I break down and cry. Please tell us what happened.'

Jemmott was said to have been taking a few days to relax at the resort after having relationship issues and taking leave from work for 'personal matters'.

His family have denied any romantic connection between Jemmott and Hartin, and said the officer was good friends with the whole Ashcroft family.

Hartin and Andrew Ashcroft are referred to as husband as wife on their hotel’s website but it’s not clear whether they are legally married, or are merely in what is often termed a ‘common law‘ marriage in Belize.

Jemmott's family had previously rubbished suggestions that the officer took his own life, despite claims he was experiencing marital problems.

His family said they do not know why the 'cautious' officer would have ventured out from his room after 10pm, breaching the country's COVID curfew.

His sister Cherry Jemmott, 48, an Assistant Superintendent with Belize Police, told 'My brother would never ever kill himself. He had his plans. In September he was to be promoted to Senior Superintendent and he was to be transferred to another unit. My brother is a very top cop with a big dream.

She added: 'He had a gunshot behind his ear like an assassination. He is so skillful after 24 years [as an officer], he would never have left his guard down. He was a top cop. I don't know how he let down his guard to be shot with his own gun.'

Cherry said a security guard heard a single shot.

Cherry said she believes her brother, whose nickname was King because he was his parents' only son, and Hartin knew each other because she does business in San Pedro and he was the officer in charge of the area two to three years ago.

Lord Ashcroft has business interests in Belize. Pictured: Lord Ashcroft and Lord Steinberg in the Robing Room of the House of Lords

Jasmine Hartin pictured with husband Andrew Ashcroft, the youngest son of Tory peer and philanthropist Lord Ashcroft, at their Alaia resort in Belize

Jasmine Hartin was drinking with Jemmott before he died. She was pictured handling a gun at a shooting range in an image local news outlets said was taken from her Facebook profile nine years ago

Hartin was in custody in a holding cell at the San Pedro police station jail which one local described as 'hell on earth'

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My view: I don't get this tragic and sad story at all, someone isn't telling the truth. Why was she massaging the police officer, is she a masseur and why was she alone drinking with him.?


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