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56 year old woman sentenced to death for drug trafficking
From: Dailymail.co.uk          Published On: January 22, 2013, 15:59 GMT
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A British grandmother broke down in tears today and cried 'no, no, no' as she was sentenced to death for trying to smuggle almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali in her suitcase.

Lindsay Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, was arrested in May last year as she entered Indonesia on a flight from Thai capital Bangkok with £1.6million worth of the Class A drug stuffed in her luggage.

State prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years but there was a gasp in the Bali courtroom today when she was told she would be killed for her crime.

Sandiford slumped back stunned as the judges announced the shock sentence which, if carried out, will see her led to a jungle clearing on a small island known as 'Indonesia's Alcatraz', where she will be blindfolded, tied to a pole and executed by firing squad.

Mrs Sandiford was heard to cry in anguish from under her beige-coloured sarong, marked with a traditional Balinese pattern, as the sentence was passed.

The 56-year-old also wept and declined to speak to reporters on her way back to prison.

Mrs Sandiford is originally from Redcar on Teesside, married and moved to London, and later lived in Gloucestershire before moving to India several years ago.

She is one of 12 Britons currently facing the death penalty abroad, according to the Foreign Office.

But charity Reprieve, which represents many of them, told MailOnline that they believe this figure only refers to those convicted of drugs offences and there are 40 British citizens on death row around the world.

Lindsay Sandiford is the second British national to be sentenced to death for drug offences in Indonesia in the last six months. Gareth Cashmore, was sentenced to death by firing squad for drugs offences in October.

Mrs Sandiford had hoped she would be spared execution, the usual sentence for trafficking this amount of drugs, because of her age and for her co-operation with authorities on the holiday isle.

'We object to the sentence. We never expected that our client would get the death penalty,' her lawyer Esra Karokaro said.

She had claimed she was coerced into the crime because her children were threatened.

But in its verdict, a judge panel headed by Amser Simanjuntak concluded that Sandiford has damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government's fight against drugs.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We can confirm that a British national is facing the death penalty in Indonesia.

'We remain in close contact with that national and continue to provide consular assistance.
'The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.'

Behind the scenes the Government is said to being cautious about its protests and fears 'going in all guns blazing' could make her situation even worse.

Sandiford will appeal within the next 14 days and her hopes of escaping the firing squad now depend on a series of legal challenges and, finally, with a plea for mercy to the president if all her legal channels become exhausted.

There are around 114 prisoners on death row in Indonesia, at least 40 of them foreigners, most of them convicted of drug crimes. Several are Australians.

Five foreigners have been executed since 1998, all for drug crimes but there have been no executions in the country since 2008, when 10 people were put to death.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has granted clemency to four drug offenders on death row since he took office in 2004.

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