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Full Report: North East UKIP in Stephen Lawrence row

by Rachel Bullock

The secretary of the Redcar UKIP branch faces being expelled from the party after she posted derogatory remarks about the media coverage of the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Pamela Preedy wrote in a UKIP online forum last year that the image of the murdered teenager has been "promoted to sainthood".

The party's North East chairman has launched a full investigation into the comments which he says entirely contradict UKIP's policies.

Rachel Bullock reports.

Regional UKIP chairman condemns Stephen Lawrence remarks

Richard Elvin, the regional chairman of the UK Independence Party says a branch secretary may be stripped of her party membership after she made derogatory remarks about the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Pamela Preedy is secretary of UKIP's Redcar and Cleveland branch. Last year on an online UKIP forum she said: "the image of Stephen Lawrence has been promoted to sainthood " She also accused David Cameron of "worshipping at the shrine of Saint Stephen".

Mr Elvin told ITV Ms Preedy's views absolutely contradict UKIP's policies, he condemns them and has apologised to the Lawrence family.

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Redcar UKIP Secretary in Stephen Lawrence row

Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in South London 1993
Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in 1993 Credit: PA

Redcar and Cleveland's UKIP secretary Pamela Preedy is caught up in a racism row over remarks about Stephen Lawrence. Mr Lawrence was murdered in 1993 and his family have fought for justice ever since.

A conversation on a UK Independence Party internal forum around the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's murder last year, which Pamela Preedy took part in, has been uncovered.

PAMELA PREEDY SAID:

"It is absolutely true that the image of Stephen Lawrence has been promoted to sainthood."

"In Monday's news, there was Cameron and other high politicos worshipping at the shrine of Saint Stephen as they stood before his picture for a minute's silence."

"His death is supposed to have changed Britain, revealing how we are all institutionally racist etc. Please give it a rest! I'm sure that Stephen was an ordinary boy with all the typical virtues and flaws of any teenage human being, not a saint in the making."

"I'm sure that his mother still grieves for him, but it's time she did it privately without setting him up as some kind of media icon. She risks losing any sympathy for her cause (getting the other three killers in jail presumably) and boring us all to tears."

"Poor Stephen; he didn't deserve his awful death and he doesn't deserve his name being endlessly touted around like this either."

Council tech boss defrauded Vodafone

A Redcar and Cleveland Council IT boss who defrauded Vodafone out of £724,000 and used the money to buy a hot tub and a caravan has been jailed for three years.

Steven Topham, 36, manipulated the company's credit system to order 1,700 handsets - most of which were then sold on.

Topham, from Coronation Green, Park End, Middlesbrough, could not tell police how many phones he had sold or how much he had made.

He told police he had bought a hot tub, sauna, holiday caravan, electrical goods and paid off his substantial debts.

Judge Howard Crowson said Topham, who pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and converting criminal property at an earlier hearing, was guilty of a breach of trust.

"You set out on what was clearly a professional fraud," he said.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place next year.

Lindsay Sandiford 'incredibly grateful' for donations funding final appeal

The charity Reprieve have tweeted that a Redcar grandmother, whose final appeal will be paid for using donations from the public, is "incredibly grateful."

Lindsay Sandiford is facing death by firing squad for taking £1.6 million of cocaine into Bali.

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Lindsay Sandiford's Just Giving appeal has surpassed the total needed for her to appeal her death sentence. She is incredibly grateful.

Full Report: Enough raised for Sandiford to make final appeal against death sentence

by Rachel Sweeney

A charity fundraising site has raised the £8,000 needed by a woman from Redcar who is on death row in Indonesia. Lindsay Sandiford needs the money to make a final appeal against the death sentence for drug smuggling.

It comes after the British courts threw out Mrs Sandiford's bid to force the government to pay for her case on the grounds that she is now penniless.

There is flash photography in this report.

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More than £8000 raised for Lindsay Sandiford's appeal

Donations through the charity site Just Giving have raised over £8000 to help pay for Redcar grandmother Lindsay Sandiford's appeal against her death sentence in Bali.

The 56-year-old lost her appeal over a UK Government refusal to fund her legal challenge yesterday.

She had previously said that she did not have the £8000 figure needed to pay for a final appeal against her death sentence by firing squad.

The charity Reprieve, who have been campaigning for support for Lindsay Sandiford, have confirmed that the money donated through Just Giving will be used, through them, to fund her upcoming appeal at Indonesia's Supreme Court.

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

Lindsay Sandiford challenges death sentence

Lindsay Sandiford at a court hearing in Indonesia Credit: PA

A Redcar woman on death row in Bali for smuggling drugs will challenge the sentence imposed by an Indonesian court.

Lawyers say 56-year-old Lindsay Sandiford has given notice of her intention to appeal against the sentence at the country's highest court.

She lost her appeal over the UK Government's refusal to fund her legal bid.

A spokesman for law firm Leigh Day, which is representing Sandiford, said: "Lindsay's lawyer has now given notice of her intention to appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court against her death sentence.

"However, after the British Government's refusal to help, she still lacks the funding she needs to ensure she has a lawyer for the appeal itself. She is now reliant on the generosity of members of the British public to ensure this can take place."

The notification to appeal was lodged in Denpasar, Bali's capital. Full documentation outlining the grounds of the appeal must be submitted to the Supreme Court within 14 days.

Redcar woman to make final appeal against Indonesian death sentence

Lindsay Sandiford, the woman from Redcar who faces the firing squad for smuggling drugs into Bali, will make a final appeal against her death sentence at Indonesia's Supreme Court. It comes a day after the 56 year old lost her British court bid to force the foreign office into paying for her appeal.

Mrs Sandiford's lawyer has formally given notice of her intention to appeal the death penalty in Jakarta, however he is unable to formally lodge the case until the funds are available. Mrs Sandiford insists she cannot afford the £8,000 needed for her appeal.

The Supreme Court appeal is her final chance of avoiding execution. If it fails, she can seek a judicial review from the same court however after that, only the Indonesian President can overturn the sentence. Her case is being supported by the British charity Reprieve who today released a statement.

"Lindsay's lawyer has now given notice of her intention to appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court against her death sentence. However, after the British Government's refusal to help, she still lacks the funding she needs to ensure she has a lawyer for the appeal itself. She is now reliant on the genersity of members of the British public to ensure this can take place."

– Reprieve Spokesperson
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