‘Cocaine Cassie’ Sainsbury has proudly shown off her weight loss transformation as she sets her sights on returning to Australia to work as a personal trainer
‘Cocaine Cassie’ Sainsbury has proudly shown off her weight loss transformation as she sets her sights on returning to Australia to work as a personal trainer.
The 26-year-old is spending her final months on parole in Bogota, Columbia, after she was jailed for smuggling 5.8kg of cocaine into the country in April 2017.
Sainsbury has lost 29kg since her arrest and 12kg since she left prison in April last year.
The former prisoner has shared a series of snaps of her trim physique to her Instagram account recently looking almost unrecognisable to the woman arrested four years ago.
Sainsbury on Friday shared a photo of a handwritten manifesto written in Spanish which translated to a message about how friends and family should treat each other.
‘Your friends must propose to you business not drunkenness,’ one line read.
‘Your family must support you not limit you. Your partner must help you progress not spend.’
Sainsbury shared a handwritten note featuring a number of mottos she lives by on her Instagram story on Friday. The words translate to ‘your family must support you not limit you’ and ‘your partner must help you progress not spend’
The 26-year-old is spending her final months on parole in Bogota, Columbia, after she was jailed for smuggling 5.8kg of cocaine into the country in April 2017
In an interview with Daily Mail Australia in July, Sainsbury detailed her daily life in and out of El Buen Pastor prison and shared her dreams of a simpler existence where she could finally shed her ‘Cocaine Cassie’ identity.
Of her new beginning outside prison, she said: ‘It’s kind of like, this is where it all starts again.’
Sainsbury spent three years in El Buen Pastor prison, locked in a two-metre by two-metre cell with up to five other inmates. She still has nightmares about it.
‘We were woken up between 2.30 and 3.30 in the morning,’ she claimed. Inmates were fed breakfast while it was still dark.
Between 5am and 7am, the guards did a headcount. Sometimes they were friendly, other times ‘inhumane’, she claimed.
‘You were expected to be showered, beds made, cleaned. You never really knew when but you had to be ready.’
The young woman is hoping to restart her life back in Adelaide as a personal trainer and shed her ‘cocaine Cassie’ identity
The food was ‘absolutely horrible’, generally including rice, a small serving of vegetables or salad, and meat.
‘When it was chicken you knew it was chicken. When it was meat, you didn’t know exactly what it was,’ she said.
Health inspectors occasionally shut down the prison kitchen – even doing so for four days on one occasion, she claimed.
But Sainsbury was allowed a job during her time in custody, teaching English at a local school in twice-daily sessions.
One of her newer tattoos is of a pocketwatch which shows the time she walked through the big blue prison door to freedom.
Sainsbury was released on parole at 11.30pm on Friday, April 3 last year and now lives in a studio apartment in Chapinero, in Bogota’s east.
She has found love with a female computer technician after calling off her engagement to prison fiancee, Joli Pico.
The relationship with Ms Pico fell apart for two reasons, Sainsbury said. It wasn’t the same outside of prison and Pico ‘ended up being with somebody else’.
She likewise doesn’t speak to her ex-boyfriend, personal trainer Scott Broadbridge, who faithfully defended her and brought her a rose in Colombian prison shortly after her arrest in April 2017.
Sainsbury told the Mail it was then early days with her new flame, whom she declined to name.
‘She doesn’t know to the extent that I’m quite well known back in Australia.
‘But here they don’t understand that kind of (fame). In Colombia there’s so much of it (cocaine smuggling).’
Sainsbury was released on parole at 11.30pm on Friday, April 3 last year and now lives in a studio apartment in Chapinero, in Bogota’s east
However, Sainsbury is unable to work – or be vaccinated against Covid – because she’s a foreigner.
She reports for parole once a month to the judge assigned to her case and admits she has few local friends.
Sainsbury’s sentence will officially expire next May but she is hopeful she could be allowed to return home to Australia at the end of 2021.
She plans to live with her mother, Lisa Evans, in Adelaide, and expects to experience some culture shock.
Sainsbury rarely speaks English in Bogota and now has traces of a Spanish accent.
Upon her return, she’s hoping to start a personal training business – her chosen career before she was locked up in Bogota.
‘All I really want to do is move on from all this and have my life back,’ she said. ‘I don’t always want to be known as Cocaine Cassie.’
Sainsbury said she stood by the version of events she previously told 60 Minutes about being under duress from a Brazilian drug lord when she smuggled the 18 packages of cocaine to Bogota in April 2017.
She claimed back then that a mysterious man named ‘Angelo Sanchez’ allegedly threatened to kill her mother and then-boyfriend, Scott Broadbridge, unless she committed the crime.
But she was unable to prove this in a Colombian court as she had forgotten the passcode to her phone.
Asked if she will still be worried about those criminal elements when she returns to Australia, she admitted: ‘Obviously it’s always a thought in the back of my head.
‘I guess we’ll wait and see what happens.’
Sainsbury’s sentence will officially expire next May but she is hopeful she could be allowed to return home to Australia at the end of 2021