Published Monday, 09 September 2013
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The details emerged in an exclusive interview with Melissa Reid's mum on This Morning on Monday.
Both Melissa, from Glasgow in Scotland, and her co-accused Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon in Co Tyrone, are facing up to 18 years in prison if found guilty of the charges against them.
They are accused of smuggling 11kg of cocaine worth £1.5m.
Although relieved that the two 20-year-olds are still being held together, Melissa's mum Debra says that the conditions are difficult.
"They've been bitten by some bugs that are in the assessment unit they're being held in, quite badly - I believe that they've had to have an injection to try to stop them swelling up," she said.
"At the minute, they're being held in what they call the assessment unit. They're not in the main prison yet."
Melissa and Michaella have yet to make their pleas in front of a judge and are expected to do so when they are back in court on 17 September.
If they plead guilty, they could be free in as little as two years.
But if they protest their innocence and are subsequently found guilty by the courts, they could spend between 15 and 18 years in jail. Even if they are found not guilty, they could already have spent up to three years behind bars on remand.
They definitely did have the drugs in their suitcases - that part they're guilty of. But they didn't do it willingly.
Debra Reid, Melissa's mum
Melissa's father has already been reported as saying that he is "not 100%" about the pair's version of events and that he thinks they should plead guilty to get a lesser sentence.
Her mum says she believes that the duo knew the drugs were in their bags, but that they were coerced into carrying them.
"I do believe that they threatened us as a family to Melissa," Debra said.
"If Melissa pleads guilty, we'll get her home earlier."
As the pair could be 35 when they get out of jail, if convicted, Melissa's mum says they could miss out on the best years of their lives.
"You maybe meet somebody, settle down, have a family ... It's the best years of your life," she said.
Debra describes her daughter as the "mature organiser" of her group of friends and says that "before this" she wouldn't have thought she was the type to walk into a trap.
The last time they were in contact was just a week before Melissa's arrest in Peru and Debra says there was no hint that anything was wrong.
She added: "She seemed fine. It was more I was telling her what was happening at home. When I asked her how it was going (in Ibiza), it was: 'It's fine, I'm loving it.'"
Debra says that she still can't believe what is happening to their "ordinary" family, but they are planning to go and see Melissa before Christmas.
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