"I’ve seen people stabbed." Everything we learnt from 'Cocaine Cassie’s' Instagram Live.

After recently being released from Colombia’s notorious El Buen women’s prison, Cassie Sainsbury has opened up about her life on parole during an Instagram Live. The 24-year-old said she was counting down the days until she can leave Colombia and return home to Australia.

“I’ll be coming back to Adelaide in two years,” she explained, according to News Corp. “I miss my family and the beaches.”

The Australian walked free after Colombia’s president signed a decree to see 4000 prisoners released into home detention, amid fears of overcrowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The house arrest was approved for prisoners who have completed 40 per cent of their sentences, with 9News reporting Cassie will need to spend the next 36 months paroled in the country.

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Cassie Sainsbury. Image: Instagram.

Describing her time behind bars during the Instagram Live this past weekend, Cassie said she'd seen "the worst ways people treat each other".

"I’ve seen people stabbed hundreds of times," she shared. "They had knives stuck into them. It’s absolutely horrible."

Reflecting on what lessons she'll take with her, Cassie said she "learnt a lot about myself, I learnt a lot about people… I’ve learnt how to analyse people better."

Cassie also shared that she has recently lost weight, telling followers, "Exercise and diet. That’s what you need to do."

Watch: Cassie Sainsbury's interview on 60 Minutes in 2017. Post continues below video.

Video by 60 Minutes

During a 60 Minutes interview in April this year, Cassie said she had learned a lot about herself and a lot about people.

"I've learned not to trust people so much," she said.

"It's definitely been a massive learning curve. But at the same time, everything that I've been through in prison, everything that I learned, I wouldn't change it."

It is unclear where Cassie has been paroled to, but in December 2019, she shared news of her engagement to a fellow prisoner named Joli, who was released in January.

Speaking to New Idea from inside the prison in 2019, Cassie, now 24, said she didn't expect to find love during her time inside, but her relationship with her "funny, very outgoing" fiance Joli blossomed about nine months earlier and they slowly fell in love.

Cassie said Joli proposed to her following a soccer match at the prison.

"I walked to the passageway and she had a poster on the wall which said, 'Will you marry me?'" Cassie said.

"A huge amount of people were watching me. She doesn’t speak English, she was trying to learn English to propose. It was quite cute. I said yes, of course."


Cassie Sainsbury was sentenced to six years behind bars in 2017 after she was caught with 5.8kg of cocaine hidden in her luggage as she tried to leave Bogota airport on April 12 of that year.

What did Cassie Sainsbury do?

Cassie Sainsbury was facing 30 years in jail after she was caught trying to fly out of the country with cocaine stuffed into 18 headphones hidden in her luggage.

Her story changed multiple times before sentencing, but in a 60 Minutes interview, she said she was offered $10,000 to transport what she thought was 'documents' from Colombia.

Cassie Sainsbury
Cassie Sainsbury's interview on 60 Minutes in 2017. Image via 60 Minutes.

When she discovered the 'documents' were in fact drugs, Cassie said she wanted out straight away, but after the safety of her family and fiancé was threatened by a man known only as Angelo, the Adelaide woman went through with the deal.

Evidence of the threats made against her existed, Cassie told 60 Minutes in 2017, with messages and photographs sitting in her WhatsApp account showing how she was forced to comply in a scheme she never thought involved drugs until it was too late.

The problem was, Cassie's Android phone was locked with a number pattern. And she said she couldn't remember the passcode.

On top of this, Cassie's family were also telling different stories. On the same night in May 2017, her mother and her sister spoke to Channel Nine while her fiancé, father and uncle spoke to Channel Seven. There were claims she was “100 per cent innocent” and also claims that she was “fully aware of what she was doing”.

For months, the story changed and every now and again new ones would pop up: She was going to London. She was getting married. Her boyfriend was involved. He wasn’t involved. She was a sex worker in Sydney. Her business had failed. She needed the money. She was an unaware drug mule.


Then in November 2017, Sainsbury struck a plea deal with authorities and was sentenced to six years in prison.

What does Cassie Sainsbury's life look like?

When she was arrested and sent to prison her partner, Scott Broadbridge, vowed to stick by her, but on KIIS FM in 2018 Cassie Sainsbury confirmed that they had broken up.

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Cassie confirmed she and Scott, left, broke up shortly after her sentencing. Image: Facebook.

"For quite some time things weren’t good between us… From the moment I got in here [jail] the relationship was doomed," she told Kyle and Jackie O.

"I broke up with Scott because I thought it was the best thing for me, and the best thing for his future as well."

By all accounts, Cassie has made many positive changes during her 27 months in prison.

She embraced a regular exercise routine and last year competed in a beauty pageant to celebrate the annual Day of the Mercedes (the patron saint of prisons) dressed as 80s Madonna.

Since entering prison, Cassie has mostly kept herself busy as an English teacher, studying Spanish and taking classes with volunteer groups.

The director of the Michigan School in Bogota, Carlos Carrero, told News Corp Cassie was a "blessing" and wanted to turn her life around. Carrero said he would happily hire her after her release.

Cassie is no longer in contact with most of her old friends from Adelaide or with ex-boyfriend Broadbridge.

This article was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated in May 2020.

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