British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford sentenced to death for drugs smuggling

Shock as Bali court sentences 56-year-old to death by firing squad

A 56-year-old British grandmother has been sentenced to death by an Indonesian court for cocaine trafficking.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested at Bali’s airport in May 2012 after 4.8kg of the drug was discovered in the lining of her suitcase as she was checked going through customs.

Sandiford said she was coerced into smuggling the drug, and her defence told judges her history of mental health problems made her vulnerable.

But the judges said there were no mitigating reasons which convinced them they should reduce the severity of their sentence, the maximum penalty for drugs smuggling in the country.

They added that Mrs Sandiford did not appear to care about the consequences of her actions and that she had also damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government’s anti-drugs programme.

There were audible gasps in the courtroom as the judges sentenced her to death by firing squad despite the fact the prosecution had recommended a 15-year prison sentence, saying the fact she had no previous convictions should be taken into account.

The grandmother appeared shocked, covering her head with a sarong in order to hide her face from the cameras as she walked out of the court room.

Her lawyers said they were ‘surprised’ at the verdict and would definitely appeal.

British human rights charity Reprieve have taken up her case, saying she had been ‘targeted by drug traffickers who exploited her vulnerability and made threats against her children’.

They added ‘we strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time.’

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