Briton Lindsay Sandiford Sentenced to Death in Indonesia for Drug Trafficking
A British woman has been sentenced to death after attempting to smuggle £1.6m-worth of cocaine into Bali.
Lindsay Sandiford, a 56-year-old grandmother, originally from Redcar in Teesside, was arrested for drug trafficking in May last year after local police said they found almost 5kg of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase.
There were gasps of surprise in Denpasar district court as the sentence was handed down; the prosecution had sought a 15-year prison term, not the death penalty, but the judge ruled that Sandiford’s attempted crime had damaged Bali’s image.
Sandiford wept as judges handed down the sentence, covering her face with a scarf as she left the courtroom to return to prison. She earlier told the court she was forced into taking the drugs into the country by gangsters who were threatening to hurt one of her children, saying “the lives of my children were in danger”.
Sandiford is now expected to appeal within the next 14 days. If all legal avenues are exhausted she could ask the president for clemency. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has granted clemency to four drug offenders on death row since taking office in 2004.