This was Jasmine Hartin in 2013 in her native Canada, a world away from the grim Belize jail where she now faces manslaughter charges.
Now the partner of billionaire Lord Ashcroft’s son Andrew, Miss Hartin was 24 when photographed with friend Alexandra Olson at a charity wine auction in Calgary Alberta for the city’s local paper, though she was brought up in eastern Ontario, and was married before she moved to Belize, MailOnline can reveal.
Other photos from the Facebook account she used under her married name of Castiglione, include a beaming photo of her on holiday in Paris and another believed to be as she arrived in Belize in 2014, which she captioned: ‘This was taken in Paradise’.
Jasmine was arrested following the death of a police chief a week ago.
This was Jasmine Hartin (right) in 2013 in her native Canada, a world away from the grim Belize jail where she now faces manslaughter charges
Former estate agent Jasmine, now 32, grew up around Kingston, Eastern Ontario in a large working class family of eight siblings and half-siblings.
Her late brother Todd Hartin, who died aged just 50, three years ago, ran a company emptying septic tanks, and her nephew Cameron has now taken over the firm.
It is believed Jasmine attended Sydenham High School near Kingston, a public school with around 850 pupils.
Her modest upbringing was a world away from the millionaire’s playground in San Pedro, Belize where she raised two children with successful hotel developer Andrew Ashcroft until last week’s tragic events.
The mother of two, currently being held in Belize’s infamous Central Prison, nicknamed the ‘Hattieville Ramada’, faces a manslaughter by negligence charge for killing police Superintendent Henry Jemmott with his own gun.
Photos from Hartin’s former Facebook account show her holidaying in Paris and relaxing in Belize’s tropical sunshine.
Socialite Jasmine Hartin, 32, is charged with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Belize cop ‘during a massage after drinking’
Another photo, taken when she was aged 24, appeared in a Canadian paper in Calgary, Alberta when she was a guest at a wine auction.
Hartin’s relatively humble roots might explain dailymail.com’s revelation that she liked to shun high society to carouse with working class cops in Belize at a tropical speakeasy famed for its soundproofed party rooms and marijuana-laced cognac.
Jasmine was a regular patron at the Crazy House Bar n Kitchen in San Pedro, according to owner Gene Lopez.
Lopez told DailyMail.com how care-free Hartin would buy round after round of drinks while entertaining pals with karaoke renditions of Bob Marley and the smash hit Shaggy song ‘It Wasn’t Me.’
The businessman says he never witnessed her taking drugs or drinking to excess but had to tell her off on several occasions for climbing on the countertop to perform ‘ass-shaking’ Caribbean dance moves.
In an extraordinary twist, Lopez, who also runs a security firm, was one of the first people to come across Hartin after she ‘accidentally’ shot dead father-of-five Jemmott in the Belizean coastal resort of Ambergris Caye.
Lopez raced to the Mata Rocks pier last Friday morning after a guard raised the alarm and was stunned to find his well-heeled regular spattered in blood and facing arrest.
‘Jasmine would come to Crazy House to relax. She was a regular customer for two years. I never had a problem with her,’ he told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
The mother of two, currently being held in Belize’s infamous Central Prison, nicknamed the ‘Hattieville Ramada’, faces a manslaughter by negligence charge for killing police Superintendent Henry Jemmott with his own gun. Pictured: A grab from footage of Hartin being transferred to prison on June 1, 2021
‘She would exhale as soon as she walked through the door because she could be herself here. She had a luxurious life but she enjoyed being with locals, she felt more alive.
‘She explained that being rich, you have to be high and mighty, respectful, you can’t be yourself. And she enjoyed life, she enjoyed freedom.’
As the common law wife of Lord Ashcroft’s youngest son Andrew, Hartin rubbed shoulder with jet-setting expats and was dubbed the ‘Queen of the Alaia’, a reference to the gleaming new beachfront resort the family recently opened.
But it was in Crazy House, less than a mile down an unpaved road leading into the heart of the island’s working class San Pablo neighborhood, that the Canadian national could truly kick back and have fun, explained Lopez, 48.
Belize Police Superintendent Henry Jemmott, who was shot to death during an incident on May 28 in Belize
Miss Hartin is the partner – both business and personal – of Andrew Ashcroft, the peer’s younger son, with whom she shares two young children.
And for many ordinary Belizeans, including the family of Henry Jemmott, the dead officer, the case is raising difficult questions about the perception of the country’s justice system.
Nobody has invested more in the former British colony than Lord Ashcroft, who says he never forgot his happy times there in childhood.
He has joint British and Belizean nationality, and was once even its ambassador at the United Nations.
It has not helped that the media was expelled from the courtroom during hearings and the windows shuttered.
According to police, Miss Hartin has insisted that Superintendent Jemmott’s death was a terrible accident.
She and Andrew Ashcroft had earlier attended a party on happy-go-lucky San Pedro – celebrated in the Madonna song La Isla Bonita – and she had been drinking with Mr Jemmott on a pier near Andrew Ashcroft’s luxury Alaia resort.
It’s no secret that, although violent crime in the country isn’t high and is largely confined to warring drugs gangs, the Belizean police encourage upstanding citizens to acquire guns for personal protection.
Sources say Mr Jemmott, a friend of the couple who was off-duty but carrying his gun, suggested Miss Hartin get one for herself and they examined his Glock pistol.
Lord Ashcroft has business interests in Belize. Pictured: Lord Ashcroft and Lord Steinberg in the Robing Room of the House of Lords
The firearm, which some regard as being light on safety features, accidentally went off while she was handing it back to him and shot him in the back of the head.
A local ex-pat, Eric Trachman, in fact demonstrated to me how it could happen, producing his own handgun and explaining how a tipsy Mr Jemmott, 42, might have cleared his gun’s chamber of a round before handing it to Miss Hartin but forgotten to take out the magazine, meaning that another bullet had automatically been fed into the chamber.
Prosecutors have now charged Miss Hartin with manslaughter with negligence.
This charge can incur a five-year prison sentence but, if a guilty plea is offered, it can simply result in a fine of less than $20,000 (£7,000), some of it going to the bereaved family and some to the court.
Manslaughter by negligence is the least serious charge she could have been handed over the officer’s death and in Belize is most often given to dangerous drivers.
The idea that a rich white ex-pat could escape killing a senior black police officer with what – to her – would be a fairly painless fine has caused some controversy in a country where racial antagonism lurks under the outward veneer of sunny Caribbean affability.