One of the infamous Peru Two has revealed how she was partying so hard before she got caught she snorted coke and ketamine off a table in a restaurant.

In fact Michaella McCollum, who was convicted of smuggling 11kg of cocaine in 2013 and spent three years in hellhole Peruvian prisons, reckons going to jail was a “necessary experience”.

She says: “I was partying all the time and had no idea what I was doing. I was lost and in a bad situation.

“If I hadn’t trafficked drugs, I’d probably have taken too many drugs one night or got myself into a worse situation.

“It’s good I put a stop to that early in my life. That experience was necessary and I’m glad it happened. I’m really happy with who I am now.”

Three years on from her release, Michaella, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, has written a book about her experiences called You’ll Never See Daylight Again, which is out tomorrow.

She reveals how she jetted to Ibiza in 2013, aged 20, and quickly got caught up in a life of partying and drugs.

She was asked by local dealers to do a run to the mainland to bring back drugs and, high on Class As, she agreed to go to Barcelona.

Then there was a change of plan. She was being sent to Peru with another girl, Melissa Reid. But it made no difference to Michaella – as she thought Peru was just another town in Spain rather than a South American country.

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“It’s embarrassing,” she says now. “But Ibiza was the first time I’d left the UK.

“I was naive and when I look back I think how could I be that stupid?”

Michaella only discovered where Peru was when she was on the plane there. And with a £5,000 fee for the job and the dealers having seized her mobile phone, she felt she had no choice but to continue.

The pair posed as tourists, visiting the usual sites, before receiving the instruction to meet the man who would give them the drugs.

Both women were shocked to discover they were bringing back 11 kilos of cocaine – worth £1.5million – expertly sealed up in sachets of porridge oats.

  • Peru Two babe Michaella McCollum thought South American country was in Spain

They had been assured guards at the airport had been paid to waive them through but they were caught and arrested almost straight away.

“I didn’t think we’d go to prison,” says Michaella. “I thought they would think we were stupid girls who had made a mistake and we’d get a fine.

“People might wonder why I didn’t just leave before it got to that point but I was scared. I thought let’s just get it over with, go home and forget about it.”

Once news got out of the arrest of two young British girls for drug smuggling, the story became huge – as did the infamous photo of the pair with their suitcases, Michaella’s hair in a bun.

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When her mum managed to speak to her, once Michaella had arrived in prison, she begged her to take it out.

“My mum said: ‘Take that bun out of your hair because everyone’s talking about it and it’s everywhere’.”

The pair were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison but Michaella was released after two-and-a-half years when she was deemed to be rehabilitated.

Jail conditions were beyond horrific. They slept on cement shelves with only thin cockroach-infested mattresses, had barely edible food to eat and limited fresh water and washing facilities.

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Her fellow prisoners also proved terrifying – including one nicknamed La Diosa (the Goddess) who had murdered her cheating husband’s lover and her baby and served it up to him in a stew.

The other women pretended to lock Michaella and Melissa in a cell with her on their first day.

Moved to a different jail, Ancon 2, which had men and women’s blocks, Michaella saw the guards open the doors to let the sex-starved prisoners mix. She writes: “There was kissing and groping and all sorts going on.

“There were two cubicle toilets on the patio. Both were engaged – and totally rocking. It was like car crash TV. So gross you couldn’t take your eyes off it.

“I was witnessing human behaviour at its most degraded level.”

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Michaella and Melissa became a tourist attraction for young Brits who would do the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and then the Peru Two. Michaella writes: “Two backpacker loons arrived asking for me and Melissa. They were English, about 20 and off their heads on acid.

“They were so excited to see us. I had to ask: ‘Why?’ They said: ‘We’ve done all the sights, seen Machu Picchu, you were next on the list’.”

Both Michaella and Melissa are now back in the UK but haven’t seen each other since Peru.

Michaella says: “We are still in contact and we’ll always have that bond. We lived every single day with each other for three years, but our lives have gone in different directions.

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“When we speak to each other, it brings everything back. We’ll always be friends and it would be nice if we did get to spend time together again but we’ll have to see.”

Now 26 and mum to twin boys Rio and Raphael, Michaella is hoping to put the past behind her.

She says: “I’ve been studying and I’m hoping to get a degree in international business management.

  • 'Peru Two' Michaella McCollum pictured with twin baby sons at sister's wedding

“I just want to spend time with my boys and my family and to have a career.

“I don’t want to just be that girl from the Peru Two.”

● You’ll Never See Daylight Again by Michaella McCollum is out tomorrow, RRP £12.99 (John Blake part of Bonnier Books UK).

  • Cheating
  • Drugs
  • Family
  • Spain

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