Fundraising appeal for Irish woman in Peru prison raises just £961

Fundraising appeal for Irish woman in Peru prison raises just £961

A FUNDRAISING effort set up to cover the legal costs of suspected drug smuggler Michaella McCollum Connolly has received just £961 in donations.

Michaella’s sister Stephanie set up the page in an attempt to raise £20,000 to cover her sister's legal costs.

The family believe Michaella will face a substantial legal bill as she continues to plead her innocence to charges related to the smuggling of 11kg of cocaine worth more than £1.5million.

On the page, they wrote: “Michaella as you all know is in a prison in Peru. We as a family are trying desperately to get her home. Since this living nightmare began we have been overwhelmed with the support and kind words from people. Some of these people are friends and people we know, and others are from kind strangers.

"As I'm sure you all understand to get Michaella home it may be a lengthy process by it all depends on her legal representation.

“We appreciate this so much as legal fees etc will be expensive.”

One supporter of the appeal who made a donation commented, “on a purely human level and as a parent myself really felt I had to give something no matter how small.”

Tyrone-raised Ms Connolly and Scottish woman Melissa Reid were stopped before boarding a flight from Lima to Madrid nearly four weeks ago.

Peruvian police say they discovered 24lb (11kg) of cocaine hidden in food packages in their baggage.

Both women have pleaded their innocence.

The pair are currently in prison after being refused bail and are awaiting a trial date, which could take up to two years.

Both women claim they were forced to carry the drugs by an armed gang that threatened to target their family members if they did not cooperate.