THE type of pistol fired by Lord Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law in the killing of a cop has a built-in safety lever over the trigger to prevent accidents.
Jasmine Hartin, 32, told police that she shot Superintendent Henry Jemmott in the head with his service weapon by mistake while giving it back to him after a mysterious late-night massage.
But firearms experts told The Sun that the cop’s gun – confirmed by sources in Belize as a Glock 9mm pistol – usually has a built-in bar over the trigger to stop accidental discharge.
Both have to be depressed for the weapon to fire.
Retired police captain Michael Van Durme, 65, who now teaches gun safety in the US, said: “You have to have a firm grip on the trigger and pull it all the way back for it to go off.
“It has a safety built into the trigger – there’s a lever in the middle of it which also has to be pulled back the whole way in order for it to shoot.
“If you brush up against it or just hit the edge of it, it won’t fire.
“I guess someone could grab hold of the gun, stick their finger in it and hit the trigger by accident. That’s certainly a possibility.
“But the person would have to have a firm grip, point the gun at his head and pull the trigger back.”
Even fellow cops on Belize – who knew Supt Jemmott – are mystified as to how he allowed his weapon to fall into Hartin’s hands.
Former officer Darrell Usher said Jemmott taught him about gun safety when they were in the same unit and always kept a strict discipline.
He said: “When people speculate that Jemmott and the lady played with the firearm, that really hurt because I from experience know that Jemmott would never be playing with any gun.
“Moreover, if he were to hand anyone any gun he would clear it and then hand it. He’d never hand nobody a loaded gun, moreover still turn his back to the person.”
Cops believe Jemmott and Hartin had been drinking and playing around with his gun before it accidentally fired, in the luxury coastal enclave of Ambergris Caye last Friday.
The pair, described as old friends, were socialising in violation of Belize’s midnight Covid curfew.
Hartin was found at the scene by a security guard who said she was “hysterical” and spattered in blood following the shooting at 1am.
The blonde was led away from a police cell in handcuffs on Tuesday and taken to Belize Central Prison on the country’s mainland by boat.
Conditions in the jail are so bad that it has featured on the TV show World’s Toughest Prisons.
She faces a charge of manslaughter by negligence over the killing – but could face as little as five years in prison or a £7,000 [$8,500] fine under Belize laws.
Jemmott’s sister Cherry, 48, who is an assistant superintendent in the Belize Police, said Hartin should have been charged with murder.
She said: "It's not right. It's not right. The family will feel really bad. This is not justice.
“My brother will have a state funeral on June 12. He gave 24 years to the police. And this is the value they put on his life?
“The people can see what is going on here, they are already saying it. Within seven working days she will get bail, I predict it. She can afford it.
Estate agent and hotelier Hartin is married to Andrew Ashcroft, 43, the youngest son of British billionaire and ex-Tory Party chairman Lord Ashcroft.
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