Jasmine Hartin, a Canadian socialite accused of fatally shooting Belize police chief Henry Jemmott with his own gun, has reportedly been spared prison time. Local reports indicate that the 34-year-old was handed a £30,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.
In April, Hartin pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Henry Jemmott, who died from a single gunshot wound to the head on May 28, 2021. According to Channel 5 Belize, the Belize high court sentenced Hartin to pay $75,000 BZD within 12 months or face a potential 12-month prison sentence.
Additionally, Breaking Belize News reported that as part of her sentence, Hartin must create a video that warns against the dangers of drunkenness and mishandling firearms.
Jasmine Hartin is the former partner of Andrew Ashcroft, the son of prominent UK businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft. At the time of the incident, Hartin and Ashcroft resided in Belize with their two children.
During the investigation and subsequent trial, it was revealed that Hartin and Jemmott, who were known to be friends, attended a party together on Ambergris Caye on the night of Jemmott’s death. Police stated that the two went for a walk on the beach and eventually ended up at a pier. At some point, Jemmott handed Hartin his gun to hold.
Hartin later admitted to investigators that she had been drinking and had mishandled the Glock 17 when Jemmott asked for it back, leading to an accidental discharge. When police found her near the pier, she was covered in blood and visibly distraught. Jemmott’s body was discovered in the water off San Pedro, Belize.
Hartin was initially charged with manslaughter by negligence and ultimately pleaded guilty in April 2023. Under Belize’s criminal code, the maximum prison sentence for manslaughter by negligence is five years.
After entering her guilty plea, Hartin expressed her desire for peace for Henry Jemmott’s family and hoped to put the entire incident behind them for healing to begin. The case has attracted significant attention both within Belize and internationally.