Lord Ashcroft’s former daughter-in-law gives full interview of how she blasted Belize cop in head
The former partner of billionaire Lord Ashcroft’s son has given her first in-depth account about how she shot dead a police chief in the tropical paradise of Belize.
Jasmine Hartin, 33, admitted that she shot Superintendent Henry Jemmott when his gun went off by accident while she handled it as they had a late-night drink together on a pier.
But she insisted that she did not realise at the time that his service pistol was loaded, meaning she was not responsible for his death.
She said: ‘How could I be charged with manslaughter by negligence where I truly thought the weapon was empty?’
In an exclusive interview with discovery+, the Canadian-born socialite told of her regret at initially making up a story that he had been shot by a man in a passing boat, saying she had lied out of panic and fear.
The former partner of billionaire Lord Ashcroft’s son has given her first in-depth account about how she shot dead a police chief in the tropical paradise of Belize
Jasmine Hartin, 33, admitted that she shot Superintendent Henry Jemmott when his gun went off by accident while she handled it as they had a late-night drink together on a pier
She insisted that she did not realise at the time that his service pistol was loaded, meaning she was not responsible for his death. Pictured: The pier the pair were sitting on
In an exclusive interview, the Canadian-born socialite told of her regret at initially making up a story that he had been shot by a man in a passing boat, saying she had lied out of panic and fear
Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew, 43, and his former partner Jasmine Hartin, 32, who is facing a manslaughter charge in Belize
The latest shocking episode in the Hartin saga comes as she prepares to stand trial later this year over the death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott
Hartin insisted that she and Supt Jemmott were only friends rather than lovers, even though her relationship with Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew was disintegrating at the time.
She said the Belizean police chief had earlier shown her his Glock 17 pistol while advising her to get a gun to defend herself after she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault.
Hartin claimed that Supt Jemmott had invited her and partner Andrew, 44, the son of the former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, for a drink as he was staying nearby
But she went alone to meet up with him after Andrew opted for an early night in their apartment in San Pedro on the holiday island of Ambergris Caye off Belize.
Jasmine Hartin, 33, is back in custody over explosive new allegations that she ordered a hit on the country’s police commissioner
In the early hours of May 28, 2021, Jasmine Hartin shot Henry Jemmott dead with his own service pistol
Andrew Ashcroft claims his ex Jasmine Hartin is unfit to care for twins Charlie and Ellie
After spending the weekend behind bars, Hartin gave a statement saying the off-duty officer was showing her how to handle his firearm as the pair drank and hung out
Hartin told how the off-duty police chief, nicknamed ‘King’, had made the fatal decision to take along his gun, after returning to his room to fetch it as they made their way to the pier.
She said: ‘He grabbed it before we went out and I remember making a joke with him about it, like, ‘We’re just going right here, there’s security here, like you don’t need it’, But he brought it anyways.’
Speaking in the documentary One Bullet in Belize which is available on discovery+ UK from Saturday, May 28, she shuddered as she recalled the gun, saying ‘Didn’t need to be there, didn’t need to be there.’
She recalled: ‘It was a full moon. It was a beautiful night. We were just talking, listening to music, having fun and we went to the pier. I wanted to put my feet in the water.’
Last year, after she was first arrested, the blonde socialite was holed up in a tiny concrete cell at the stiflingly hot police and magistrates court complex in San Pedro, the tropical island of Ambergris Caye’s only town
Hartin told interviewer Sarah Hunt how her policeman friend once again suggested she got acquainted with handling a gun and bullets in a magazine, as he had done a few days earlier following the attack on her.
She said: ‘I had the magazine. I was just emptying it and reloading it without it being in the weapon. It was like a game to see how fast I could take them out and then put them back in.
‘And then he took the bullets and put them to his left. I had the empty magazine – fully empty – and I popped it in [the gun] and then put it down.
‘We were sitting on the side of the dock. Both of our feet were over the dock, so I have the weapon on my right, the bullets are to the left of Henry.’
She said her friend who had recently told her he was single after the end of a long relationship, then asked her to rub his shoulder as it was sore after his day’s fishing.
Hartin said she recalled making a joke with him, saying ‘I said, ‘Don’t you have like a bunch of girls to do this for you?’
‘I shuffled back a little bit, I still have my right leg straight, but my left leg was bent behind his back and I’m rubbing his shoulder.
‘Then at some point, he says he wants to go back inside, to hand him the magazine, so he was going to refill it real quick.
‘So, I lean forward. I pick it up. I’m trying to get the magazine out [of the pistol]. I’m still sitting. He’s still sitting.
‘I’m using the Moon to see and I’m pushing to try to get the magazine out, and it was like it was stuck.
‘I don’t ever remember touching the trigger at all. Next thing I know, the gun goes off.’
Hartin who is on bail after being charged with manslaughter by negligence, added: ‘I thought it was a safe weapon – [that] it was clear, empty.’
The 20 stone officer fell backwards on top of her, trapping her against the boardwalk after a bullet from the pistol blasted him through the back of his head.
Hartin who has five-year-old twins with Andrew Ashcroft, added: ‘There’s blood on me, so I know something’s wrong.
‘I have Henry on top of me. As I’m wiggling out from under him, he begins to slip into the water.
‘I tried to hold him, and he was way bigger than me, there’s no way I could have kept him on that dock, but I tried to get under his arms and hold him up, and I could not.’
Eventually, police officers found the body of the police chief floating in the water.
Hartin went on: ‘They said they found him, and I said, ‘Is he OK?’ And they said, ‘No, he’s dead.’ And that’s when I found out he was actually dead. I didn’t…yeah.’
She said she then made the statement which she now bitterly regrets, saying he had
had been shot by a man in a passing boat, before later retracting it and telling the truth.
Hartin said: ‘Once the adrenaline settled down, once I calmed down, once everything hit me then I was like, ‘No, like I remember what happened, it was an accident’.
Describing how she regretted her earlier statement, she said: ‘Yeah… I was so in shock when I initially said that, that I barely remember what I said.
‘To be honest, I regret I should have probably just been honest from the moment. But when you’re in that much shock and mental trauma, you…I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense why I said that. I don’t know why I said that.
‘I’m exhausted, I’m in shock. I’m scared, you know, I’m covered in my friend’s blood. I, I don’t know. You can’t explain why people do things when they’re in shock.’
She emphatically denied rumours that she was having an affair with Supt Jemmott, and insisted their relationship was one of friendship.
Hartin said: ‘It just didn’t seem risky or like anything sexual, I didn’t think about that like at all. It was more like just friendship and we trusted each other.
The blonde beauty was living the high life before the tragedy occurred on May 28
‘He didn’t break up and come to me. I know he made some jokes to some friends about having a date. So he may have just been pulling their leg.’
She also insisted that the fact that they met in a public place close to the Grand Colony apartment which she shared with Andrew Ashcroft, supported her insistence that they were not lovers trying to meet discreetly.
Hartin who is due to stand trial in Belize any time from June 13, said: ‘It was my front yard and Andrew was supposed to be coming down with me.
‘He [Henry] was not hitting on me. And he really thought that Andrew and I were still quite an item, nobody knew really that we weren’t together. We kept that very secret.’
The blonde is pictured with her two kids in a social media snap captured before the May shooting
She also attacked other wild rumours swirling around Belize including gossip suggesting that the gun had gone off after Andrew Ashcroft had caught her and Supt Jemmott on the pier.
Hartin said: ‘The stories are completely absurd. The most recent is that Henry and I were having a fiery affair on the pier and Andrew caught us and so they were struggling for the weapon.
‘I’m like, this is so dramatised, you can’t make this what it’s not, there was only the two of us on the pier and it was an accident.
Responding to claims that she had murdered the police chief, she said: ‘What was my motive? I just thought, ‘Hey, I’m going to take my friend to my front yard where my children are sleeping upstairs. And I’m just going to for no reason cause it’s a Thursday, and I feel like it, I’m just going to cold-blooded kill him? In my front yard? In front of my security?
‘I’m so sick of telling people I’m not a murderer. Like the fact that that has to come out of my mouth as a sentence is insane. It’s completely ridiculous.’
Protesting her innocence of the manslaughter charge, she added: I did not know that Henry handed me a loaded gun.
‘I emptied the magazine. I figured that it’s empty, so I don’t understand how that is manslaughter by negligence.
‘I don’t feel I was negligent. I really don’t. I feel like it was an accidental death.’
Former dental assistant Hartin described how she was raised by a single mother in rural Canada before arriving in Belize in 2014 after a long-term relationship ended, and she landed up in the bustling holiday island of Ambergris Caye.
She became an estate agent in the island’s main town, San Pedro, where she met businessman Andrew Ashcroft whose father owned the Belize Bank
Hartin said she has been ready to return to Canada, but fell for Andrew’s sense of humour and vowed to make Belize her home.
The couple became parents to twins in 2017, but never married although they referred to each other in public as being husband and wife.
Jasmine admitted she was blissfully happy after the birth of her children, saying: ‘It was the best decision I ever made, my whole life, I wanted to be a Mom.’
But cracks had begun to privately appear in the golden couple’s relationship by the time they opened their luxury Alaia resort in San Pedro in early May 2021.
Andrew had beamed at the official opening as he insisted that he and his ‘wife’ Jasmine and their children were 100 per cent committed to Belize.
Hartin smiled for the cameras but inside she was cringing as their seemingly perfect relationship was a sham
None of the prominent guests at the ceremony realised that the couple were leading separate lives, and sleeping apart.
Hartin is seen in an old video carrying a pump-action shotgun, then pretending to blow smoke from the barrel
Hartin said she was the target of an attempted sexual assault two weeks later, at a female friend’s birthday party, when an unknown man attacked her.
She said: ‘He was forcing himself on me and tugging at my pants’
Hartin recalled how she fought off the man, but was left scared and immediately contacted her friend Supt Jemmott for support and advice.
She said that he arrived to help her on the night, recalling: ‘He scolded me like a big brother, telling me off for putting myself in a bad situation.’
The police chief advised her to apply for a gun license for personal protection, as many others did in a country which is notorious for its high murder rate.
Supt Jemmott then handed over his Glock 17 service weapon so she could practice loading and unloading the magazine.
Just 24 hours later on May 24 last year she saw a message on his Facebook page, saying he was single after being in a relationship for many years.
She wrote asking if he was OK, and he replied that ‘he was better than ever’ and asked her if she could book him into her hotel because he needed a break.
Supt Jemmott returned to the island within 24 hours and went on a fishing trip on May 27, catching barracuda and snapper in the plentiful waters of the Caribbean.
He then spent the evening at the home of Panny Arceo, a fishing guide and close friend, who recalled that he was ‘was in good spirits’.
Ashcroft and Hartin jointly ran the luxurious Alaia Belize Hotel on the resort island of Ambergris Caye off Belize’s Caribbean coast
Hartin and Andrew Ashcroft were at a rooftop bar with friends, but she said that she was not enjoying herself.
She said she had returning to her apartment shortly after 10pm to relieve the babysitter, when she received a text from her policeman friend.
He joked that he had been in San Pedro for two days, but still hadn’t seen her and Andrew, and suggested they join him for a nightcap, she said.
Hartin said she changed into jeans and grabbed a bottle of wine for their fateful meeting while Andrew decided to stay behind.
She is now estranged from Andrew and is fighting a bitter custody battle with him over their twins. He has accused her of being an unfit mother.