LORD Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law says she had “no idea” the gun she was holding was loaded before it went off and killed her police chief pal, it is reported.
Jasmine Hartin, 32, was arrested after Belize police superintendent Henry Jemmott was accidentally killed with his Glock in a drinking session.
The socialite is now said to have described the incident as a “living nightmare”, telling cops in a statement: “I picked up the gun and tried to eject the magazine clip but it was stuck.
“I struggled with it, trying to get the magazine out, when the gun suddenly went off.
“I had no idea it still had a bullet in the chamber.”
She added: “Henry fell back on top of me. I was pinned down and he was bleeding all over me.
‘BLEEDING ALL OVER ME’
“As I was wriggling to get out from under him, to get free so I could check to see if he was OK, he slipped into the water.”
The Mail on Sunday said socialite Jasmine — wed to Tory billionaire Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew — told police that Jemmott gave her the gun so she could practise her shooting skills.
She has been charged with manslaughter by negligence and could face up to five years in jail, or be let off with a £7,000 fine.
The pair had reportedly been friends for a number of years and he suggested she armed herself after an incident at a party when a man became aggressive towards her.
“He told me I needed to get a gun for my own personal protection,” she said.
The officer handed her his police-issued Glock 17 from his holster while they were in a car together and he was driving.
On the night of the shooting Jasmine met Jemmott and the pair drank wine and whiskey at the pier in the Banana Beach resort, where they sat chatting and listening to music.
After Jemmott has been shot Jasmine screamed for help, alerting nearby security guards, who ran from a nearby hotel raced to the scene to find her pacing up and down on the pier.
One person picked up the gun while a shocked Jasmine sat down on rocks before blood was swabbed from her arm.
Meanwhile, Jemmott’s widow has told The Sun on Sunday that he had never mentioned Jasmine to her.
Romit Wilson said: “The whole thing has been a big surprise.”
Romit is believed to have been his common-law wife and mum to three of his five kids.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, she said: “I’ve nothing to say about claims that there were difficulties between me and Henry.
“It’s a very difficult time. I am of course in touch with his family about arrangements for the funeral.”
Last week it was reported Canadian Jasmine may face drugs charges but no further action was taken.
The Sun on Sunday can now reveal charges may be brought over 0.4g of cocaine allegedly found at the shooting scene.
Sources have told the Mail on Sunday that bullets found at the scene convinced prosecutors her claim about practising unloading and loading Jemmott’s gun were true.
She will learn whether she is released on bail on Wednesday.
On the day of the shooting traffic police pulled over a “highly intoxicated” Jemmott as he swerved around the island on a golf cart while on holiday.
He was with friends including with a man who once stood trial for murder, with whom he was sharing a hotel room.
Jemmott had been given time off to deal with relationship issues though a source questioned why he was still allowed to keep his weapon.
After being refused bail, Hartin is currently being held in the scorpion infested Belize Central Prison in Hattieville.
Sources close to the case have claimed the decision to keep her in detention is politically motivated because the “public is baying for blood”.
She could remain in jail for up to a year though her legal team are battling to get her released.
The jail, in Hattieville, is the small country’s only prison and featured on the Netflix doc Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons.
Known as the “Hattieville Ramada”, the facility currently houses 1,041 prisoners in small concrete cell blocks who are subject to strict religious instruction.
Inmates are held at the facility for months and sometimes even years on end while they await trial.
And given it’s the country’s only prison, inmates held for petty crimes have to rub shoulders with notorious murderers.