Socialite Jasmine Hartin pleaded guilty tonight to the ‘accidental’ shooting of a Belize police chief, telling the media she wants her family to ‘have peace now’.
The estranged couple of Lord Ashcroft’s son broke down in tears as they entered their plea in the Supreme Court in Belize City, where they were due to go on trial for negligent manslaughter today.
The court suspended the sentencing hearing, which is expected to take place on May 31.
Outside court, Hartin said: “I just want Henry’s family to have peace now and I want all of this behind us so we can heal.”
At today’s hearing, prosecutors presented Judge Ricardo Sandcroft with a file containing more evidence that would be revealed if the trial went ahead.
Canadian socialite Jasmine Hartin pictured outside Belize City Supreme Court today after being charged with manslaughter after shooting a ‘dead police officer friend’
Hartin admitted that he shot Superintendent Henry Jemmott (pictured) when his gun accidentally discharged while she was handling it while having a drink together on a pier in May 2021.
Pictured are Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew, 44, (left) and his former partner Jasmine Hartin (right), who is on trial for manslaughter in Belize.
Hartin said that before the incident occurred, Superintendent Jemmott asked him to rub his shoulder because it was sore after a day of fishing.
In an interview with Piers Morgan in 2022, the mother-of-two claimed Superintendent Jemmott had invited her and her partner Andrew, 44, the son of the former Conservative Party vice-chairman, out for a drink.
But she went alone to join him after Andrew opted to sleep early in his apartment in San Pedro, on the vacation island of Ambergris Caye, near Belize.
She emphatically denied rumors that she was having an affair with Superintendent Jemmott and insisted that their relationship was friendly.
At the time of the incident, 7 News Belize reported that Hartin was giving Superintendent Jemmott a shoulder massage when the Glock pistol accidentally went off.
After hearing the shots, Belizean police officers rushed to the scene, where they found Hartin covered in blood.
In nearby waters the body of Superintendent Jemmott was found with a single gunshot wound to the skull.
Hartin said there was a “loud crash” and then “Henry fell on top of me… I could see blood and feel the blood.”
She added: ‘I tried to wriggle out from under him.
“And that’s when he started slipping in the water and I tried to catch him and of course he was so much bigger than me so I couldn’t hold him.”
Pictured is Belize Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott, who was shot to death in 2021.
Hartin pictured under a blanket leaving the Hattieville prison in Belize last June
She claimed that after pushing his lifeless body off of her, he fell off the dock into the water.
In August last year, the socialite claimed that vengeful officers conspired to murder her and disguise her death as a botched jailbreak.
She said at the time that “corrupt” police in Belize City opened her cell in the middle of the night and motioned her to a back door, insisting she was free to go.
Hartin felt it was a setup and refused to run, telling the officers, “I know I’m going to be shot in the back.”
The alleged incident occurred when Hartin was arrested on May 19, 2022 for allegedly organizing “hits” on Belize Police Commissioner Chester Williams and a family court magistrate.
She was cleared this week by Williams, who admitted there was never a credible threat to either him or Dale Cayetano, who oversaw Hartin’s child custody battle with ex-partner Andrew Ashcroft, the son of Britain’s Lord Ashcroft.
‘They came to me and said, you are free to go. I went to walk through the front door and they said, no, no, no, go out the back door,” he told the Mail.
He knew exactly what that meant. The police are notorious in Belize and it’s a trick they use. He is usually shot dead or re-arrested and charged with further charges for trying to escape.
Hartin and her ex-husband Andrew, 44, became long-term partners and had five-year-old twins Charlie and Elle before opening Alaia in May 2021.
‘I said, not a chance in hell. I know exactly what they’re up to, they’ll shoot me in the back. They started laughing at me and said, you’re smart, Hartin.
“They didn’t give me food or water either and they made me clean the toilet with my bare hands, it was disgusting.”
In Belize, Hartin met Andrew Ashcroft, whose billionaire father, Lord Ashcroft, has dual British and Belizean nationality and has represented Belize at the United Nations.
The manslaughter case sparked the end of their relationship after Ashcroft allegedly banned her from his apartment and limited access to her five-year-old twins, Charlie and Elle.
Hartin filed for custody in family court, but the case ended abruptly after Commissioner Williams announced that an unidentified woman had allegedly hired a Belize City street gang to eliminate him and Cayetano.
On May 26, 2022, six days after Hartin was questioned, Cayetano turned over legal custody of the children to Ashcroft.
And on June 13, 2022, Ashcroft announced that he and the children had left Belize and moved to the Turks and Caicos Islands to open a new hotel.