One Direction tour manager's jail visit to Michaella McCollum Connolly
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One Direction tour manager's jail visit to Michaella McCollum Connolly

ONE Direction’s tour manager has visited Michaella McCollum Connolly in prison in Peru, delivering chocolate eggs and a KFC takeaway to the Dungannon woman.

Irishman Paul Higgins visited Ms McCollum Connolly and Glasgow native Melissa Reid, who were sentenced in December to six years and eight months each in prison for attempting to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of the country, during a “charity” jail visit.

The trip to the Virgine de Fatima prison took place whilst the famous boy band were performing in Lima as part of their tour of Latin America.

Higgins, who is originally from Bray and runs All Star Security, is One Direction's tour manager and Bodyguard. He has previously worked with Boyzone, Westlife and Girls Aloud.

"Paul does a lot of work for charity that you just don't hear about,” a source close to the band said.

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"He was in Peru with One Direction and during his downtime he decided that the Christian thing to do would be to visit an Irish person who was in prison."

It was stated that Higgins was keen to boost Ms McCollum Connolly's morale as she continues to serve her sentence.

"He felt that seeing a friendly face would give her a lift," the source told the Mail on Sunday.

"He does not know her [Michaella] or the family and he did not tell any of One Direction that he was going.

"He was just trying to do a good deed as he felt that there wouldn't be many visitors coming from Ireland to see them.

"He is not there to judge them for what they did nor does he condone anything they have done."

Higgins also handed out free concert tickets to families of prisoners in the jail and spoke to the incarcerated pair about dealing with the pressures of 'fame'.

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Co Tyrone woman McCollum Connolly was arrested last August on suspicion of trying to smuggle cocaine out of the country along with Scottish national Melissa Reid.

Both pleaded guilty but claim they were forced to carry the drugs, which were concealed in food packages, by an armed gang who threatened their family members.