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Cheltenham grandmother on death penalty says Government has let her down

Lindsay Sandiford says she feels let down by the British Government Credit: Johannes P. Christo/AAP/Press Association Images

A grandmother from Cheltenham who is facing the death penalty in Bali after being convicted of drug smuggling said she feels let down by the British Government.

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad by a court in Indonesia for taking £1.6m of cocaine into the country.

Sandiford said by refusing to assist in funding her lawyers, the Government's actions were "tantamount to condoning the death penalty".

  1. Tyne Tees

Foreign Office concerned over Lindsay Sandiford's fate

A Foreign Office minister said today that the Government remained "deeply concerned" about the fate of British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford, who faces the death penalty in Indonesia, but warned her legal bills would not be covered by the Government.

Hugo Swire said British diplomats had worked closely with Sandiford's legal team but speaking at Foreign Office questions in the Commons, he rejected a plea from her former MP Martin Horwood for financial aid.

Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad by a court in Bali for taking £1.6 million of cocaine on to the island.

Earlier this month Sandiford, originally from Redcar, lost the first appeal to the Bali High Court but is expected to take her case to Indonesia's Supreme Court.

We continue to be deeply concerned for both Lindsay Sandiford and Gareth Cashmore who have been sentenced to death for drug taking offences.

"We are seeking reassurances Indonesia will not seek to carry out the death penalty in both cases."

– Hugo Swire, Foreign Office

"I thank the Foreign Office for the support they have given to my former constituent Lindsay Sandiford.

"But given the concerns about the adequacy of translation in the initial trial and the adequacy of legal representation going forward to the Supreme Court stage, will the Foreign Office re-consider its position and follow Indonesia's own example which provides support for translation costs and legal costs for its nationals facing the death penalty abroad?

"Will it actually support Lindsay Sandiford through that process even though it is not legally obliged to do so?"

– Martin Horwood, MP for Cheltenham

"You are right to raise the concern but it is true to say the Government does not pay for legal representation for British nationals overseas.

"We have been working extremely closely with Lindsay Sandiford's lawyers and in identifying a lawyer for her.

"We are prepared to assist her with anything beyond actually having to meet some of these bills, which we just simply don't do."

– Hugo Swire, Foreign Office

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Grandmother facing a death sentence goes to London's Court of Appeal

Lawyers representing a grandmother from Cheltenham, who's facing a death sentence in Bali, will go to London's Court of Appeal today, after the Government refused to help pay her legal fees.

Lindsay Sandiford, who is 56, was sentenced to death for drug offences in January. She needs to raised 8,000 to pay for a local lawyer.

  1. National

Reprive: The FCO should step in to help Bali gran

Action group Reprive said Lindsay Sandiford faces the death penalty because "she has no money to hire a lawyer for her appeal".

Never has there been a clearer example of how the death penalty falls predominantly on those who do not have the funds to defend themselves.

The FCO should step in to ensure she gets the legal support to which she is entitled - given it would cost them a fraction of what they spend on wine each year, it is hard to see why they are fighting against this in the courts.

– Zoe Bedford, Reprieve investigator
  1. National

UK High Court judges upheld refusal to fund Sandiford

UK High Court judges upheld the Government refusal to fund Lindsay Sandiford at the end of January, despite pleas that she was urgently in need of money and her family had exhausted all their available resources.

Despite prosecutors asking for a 15-year jail term, Sandiford was given the death sentence, after being accused of damaging the image of Bali The British Government said it was disappointed when she lost her bid to block the sentence.

UK High Court judges upheld the Government refusal to fund Lindsay Sandiford, despite pleas that she was urgently in need of money Credit: Reuters

Balinese police said Sandiford was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons, but she claimed she was forced to transport the drugs to protect her children whose safety was at stake.

Today Sandiford's lawyers will go to the Court of Appeal today in London over a UK Government refusal to fund her appeal.

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Death row grandmother 'running out of time'

A grandmother from Cheltenham, who's facing execution in Bali, has told how she is "desperate" after running out of money to pay a lawyer for her appeal in just over two weeks.

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death on drug charges by a Bali court on 22 January this year.

In an open letter published by human rights charity Reprieve today, she said:

"I am sitting in my death row cell here in Bali. Yes, I feel depressed. Yes, I know I have been stupid. Yes, I want to say sorry for what I have done - sorry to the British people for the shame I have caused and - more than anything - sorry to the people of Indonesia. And yes, I am totally humiliated.

"I don't want to beg. I'll accept help, because I'm desperate and I don't know where to turn.

"I don't have the money to pay a local lawyer, again. I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it's not very much money. The last appeal cost about £2,600. This time, in the Supreme Court, it will be about £8,000.

"If I really were a rich drug dealer, it would be no big deal. But I'm not, and you might as well ask me to pay ten million dollars."

Tomorrow Ms Sandiford's lawyers will go to the English Court of Appeal to appeal against the FCO's decision not to help fund her lawyer.

  1. National

British grandmother 'ready to die' by firing squad in Bali

In an interview through intermediaries with the Daily Mail British grandmother Lindsay Sandifordhas said that she is ready to die after being sentenced to firing squad for drug smuggling.

Lindsay Sandiford talks to an translator during her first trial in Denpasar Court, Denpasar, Bali. Credit: Johannes P. Christo/AAP/Press Association Images

Sandiford, who was arrested after a flight from Bangkok in May 2012, was convicted of smuggling 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine told the Daily Mail: "I would rather have the death sentence than a life sentence. I don’t want to get old and decrepit in here at least a bullet is quick.

"Sometimes I think, 'Let them get on with it.' I have had a lot of fun in my life. I’ve been to a lot of places, done a lot of things and I’ve met a lot of interesting people.

"I’ve got no regrets. I could be dying of cancer or something horrible and prolonged."

British grandmother Sandiford lost her appeal against her death sentence at the Bali High Court earlier this month.

The 56-year-old was convicted in January by a district court and sentenced to face a firing squad.

  1. National

Govt ‘disappointed’ at failed Bali death sentence appeal

The government has expressed disappointment that British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford has lost her appeal against her death sentence in Bali for drug trafficking.

We are disappointed to hear that Lindsay Sandiford's appeal has been refused by the High Court in Bail.

The UK strongly opposes the death penalty and has repeatedly made representations to the Indonesian government on this matter.

We will continue to provide consular assistance at this difficult time.

– Foreign Office spokesman
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British grandmother loses Bali death penalty appeal

Sandiford is originally from Redcar in Teesside. Credit: Reuters

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford has lost her appeal against her death sentence in Bali for drug trafficking.

The 56-year-old was convicted in January by a district court and sentenced to face a firing squad. The Bali High Court has rejected an appeal.

Sandiford, who was arrested after a flight from Bangkok in May 2012, was convicted of smuggling 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine.

She was accused of being at the centre of a drugs ring involving three other men.

She says she was coerced into smuggling the cocaine.

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