The daughter-in-law of British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft is asking for donations to cover the cost of defending her against a manslaughter charge, saying that her bank accounts have been hacked.
Jasmine Hartin was the social director at the posh Belize resort built by her common-law husband Andrew until she was arrested last month for fatally shooting police superintendent Henry Jemmott.
Hartin has since had a spectacular falling-out with her partner over custody of their two children that briefly landed her back in prison, and a GoFundMe post by her family says she needs money just to live.
“We just need help right now desperately,” the appeal says, promising to pay back any donations “in time.”
The 32-year-old Canadian national admits she killed Jemmott after a post-party boozing session on a deserted pier in Belize’s tourist mecca, San Pedro.
She claims that Jemmott was showing her how to use a gun for protection when it went off by accident. He ended up with a bullet in his head in the water.
Prosecutors charged Hartin with manslaughter and tried to have her locked up until trial, but a judge eventually freed her on $30,000 bail—which was posted by an employee of her husband.
While out on bail, Hartin got into a public confrontation with Andrew Ashcroft over seeing their children, which led to the employee withdrawing the bail and her being tossed back in prison until a friend put up the money.
In an interview with Belize’s Channel 7 news last week, Hartin trashed her ex and his politically connected family, saying they abandoned her to protect their name.
“I can't believe how I've been treated,” she said.
“From what I've been told by the family, they were instructed to distance themselves from me immediately... that they couldn't have bad press associated with their reputation.”
She said no one from the family visited her during her first prison stay and she was not allowed to speak to the children.
In a written statement, Andrew Ashcroft denied that, saying he brought the children to see her in the initial days after her arrest and was making plans for another visit after her release on bail when she “abandoned the residence I had arranged for her without informing myself, the police, or the security guards and disappeared to an unknown location.”
“I have explained to Jasmine that we have to agree on dates, times and place convenient to all of us where she can see the children,” the statement continued. “But instead she insists on making unreasonable demands, showing up without prior notification and alerts the media to deliberately make a scene.”
Hartin has said that she and Ashcroft were together for seven years—only for the sake of the children at the end. But after her arrest, she claimed, she was cut off financially.
In the GoFundMe post, her family said her “Canadian bank accounts have been hacked and she is unable to access her funds.” It claimed her passwords were changed and “monies frauded in the thousands.”
The fundraiser sought a cash infusion of $30,000, but after one day only $875 had been donated.