Canadian socialite Jasmine Hartin has pleaded guilty to the accidental shooting of a Belize police officer, saying she wants his family ‘to have peace’.
The former daughter-in-law of Lord Ashcroft will avoid jail after accepting a manslaughter by negligence charge after the death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott, 42, who was found dying from a gunshot wound to the head on a dock in San Pedro on May 27 2021.
According to the DailyMail, Hartin trembled and was in tears as she entered the last minute guilty plea in front of the slain officer’s sisters and daughter.
Judge Ricardo Sandcroft was handed a file of evidence from the case by prosecutors which would have been revealed if the trial went ahead.
Outside court, Hartin said: ‘I just want Henry’s family to have peace now and I want this whole thing to be behind all of us so we can heal.’
The Canadian mother-of-two is reported to have told detectives she was giving Mr Jemmott a shoulder massage when she handed him his service pistol and it accidentally went off, shooting him on the back of the head.
She has described the death of Supt Jemmott as a ‘very tragic accident’.
Belize police said Ms Hartin and Supt Jemmott were friends.
‘From what we have been made to understand, they were drinking. From investigation, they were alone on the pier and yes, they were both fully clothed,’ Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams said to reporters.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, the socialite was asked: ‘You don’t dispute that you fired the gun that killed Henry Jemmott?’
Ms Hartin replied: ‘No, it was a very tragic accident.
‘It was a loud bang. Then my ears were ringing… I was in shock.
‘Henry fell back on top of me. At that point I realised one of us was hurt. I could see blood and feel the blood.
‘So then, I tried to wiggle out from under him, and that’s when he started slipping into the water and I tried to catch him.’
She is due to return to the same court on May 31 for a sentencing hearing after the judge determines the amount of the expected fine.
Aerial photographs of the jetty where the pair were said to have been shows what appears to be a pool of blood.
Hartin is the estranged partner of Andrew Ashcroft, the son of billionaire Tory donor Lord Ashcroft. Mr Ashcroft operates several luxury tourist properties in Belize.