POLICE believe the daughter-in-law of Lord Ashcroft was playing around with a cop’s gun when the weapon went off killing him, it was reported.
Henry Jemmott’s lifeless body was found floating in the sea near San Pedro, Belize, and Jasmine Hartin, who had “blood on her arms and clothes,” was then arrested.
The 38-year-old Hartin is the American partner of Andrew Ashcroft, 43, the youngest son of the billionaire Tory donor.
She remains in custody since Friday’s shooting and is expected to be charged today.
The investigation is operating on the basis that Hartin and Superintedant Jemmott had been playing with his pistol after drinking, The Times reports.
Belize’s police commissioner Chester Williams confirmed that Hartin had been alone with dad-of-five Jemmott and there is no indication a third person was involved.
“We have to look at the investigation with an open mind, but so far we have not had any indication to suggest that there was any third actor,” he said.
“In the absence of an explanation she would have to be treated as the killer.”
The officer was found with a fatal wound behind his right ear – with his gun nearby.
Police said the pair knew each other socially in Belize, Central America, where Jasmine and husband Andrew head a luxury hotel company.
A 2012 photo showing Hartin holding weapons at a gun range in Las Vegas emerged over the weekend.
Hartin is expected to be charged today in connection to the shooting Jemmott’s sister, Marie Jemmott Tzul, 48, has said.
“I got a call. I was informed that she will be charged tomorrow, but they did not say what she was going to be charged with,” Tzul said.
The cop was shot while “drinking with Lord Ashcroft’s daughter-in-law (and) had a head wound” she revealed.
She insisted that after 24 years as a police officer “he would never have left his guard down”.
“He was a top cop. I don’t know how he let down his guard to be shot with his own gun.”
Commissioner Williams has said Hartin is not co-operating with investigators at this stage which he said “raises some red flags”.
Barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC, who has man years of experience of dealing criminal cases in Belize, said the country has a legal system similar to England.
If the dead officer had been killed accidentally as a result of “pistol play” then she would probably face a manslaughter charge.
“There is a chance in this type of case that the authorities could determine that the death was completely accidental and no charges would be brought,” he said.
Andrew, 43, is the youngest of Lord Ashcroft’s three children from his first marriage and is a citizen of Belize, where he lives and works with Jasmine.
The couple have two children and recently opened a luxury resort together close to where the shooting occurred.