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A British grandmother plans to appeal her death sentence by firing squad for smuggling cocaine worth £1.6 million into the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
On Tuesday former legal secretary Lindsay Sandiford broke down in tears and cried “no, no, no” after a panel of judges in Bali ordered her execution.
They said she had shamed Bali’s tourism reputation by taking 10.6lb (about 5kg) of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase through the island’s international airport.
Sandiford, 56, plans to appeal, but faces years of anguish in a sweltering and overcrowded prison cell as lawyers attempt to save her life. If they fail, she will be tied to a post on a prison island and shot by firing squad.
Sandiford, originally from Redcar in Teesside, has admitted taking a suitcase to Bali, but claimed she did not know what was in it. She claimed she had been told her son Eliot, 22, would be killed if she did not take the suitcase to Bali.
But even though she helped entrap the other members of the drugs gang, and prosecutors were seeking a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, the judges said they saw “no reason” to show her mercy.
Sandiford is the second British national to be sentenced to death for drug offences in Indonesia in a few months. Gareth Cashmore, 33, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire was sentenced in October and remains in jail.
Sandiford was caught with the drugs at Denpasar Airport after flying into Bali from Bangkok on May 19, 2012.
Police said she would receive a lenient sentence if she entrapped the other gang members. She agreed and was placed under surveillance and allowed to attend meetings at hotels and villas across Bali with the alleged buyers.
Officers stormed in moments after Sandiford allegedly passed the drugs, disguised as a present in pink wrapping paper, to fellow Briton Julian Ponder, 43, an antiques restorer.
Officers then arrested Ponder’s partner Rachel Dougall, 39, at their luxurious villa where they found drugs hidden in a bag and a cigarette packet. A fourth Briton, Paul Beales, was also arrested. Sandiford told Balinese police that Beales and Dougall were responsible for filling her suitcase with cocaine.
Last year Dougall was jailed for a year failing to report a crime and Beales was sentenced to four years for possession of drugs. Ponder, who used to live in Brighton with Dougall, is accused of receiving the drugs in Bali. His verdict is expected on Wednesday.
During her trial Sandiford claimed she decided to take the suitcase to Bali because “the lives of my children were in danger”. In a previous interview she said Eliot would be killed by a drugs gang in England if she refused. She has another son, 24-year-old Lewis.
Before her arrest Sandiford lived in India with her partner Shiva Ram. Prior to that she was a legal secretary in Cheltenham.
On Tuesday night Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood condemned the sentence and said he would raise the issue with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Around 40 of the 114 prisoners on death row in Indonesia are foreigners convicted of drug crimes. Five such prisoners have been executed since 1998.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.” -