Teesside grandmother "coerced" into carrying drugs

A grandmother from Teesside, who is currently facing the death penalty in Indonesia, will argue that she was coerced into carrying the cocaine over threats made against her family.

56-year-old Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May earlier this year when she was stopped at Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) in Bali with four kilogrammes of cocaine.

If found guilty of the drug charges she could face the death penalty.

“Lindsay has always maintained that she only agreed to carry the package to Bali after receiving threats against the lives of her family.

Since then she has cooperated fully with the Indonesian authorities but remains in Kerobokan prison where she continues to fear for the well-being of her family, who she was so desperately trying to protect.

This report demonstrates that Lindsay was exploited by drug barons, who preyed on her vulnerability and her fear for the safety of her children.”

– Harriet McCulloch, Investigator at Reprieve

Lindsay maintains that she finally agreed to travel to Thailand where, convinced her son would be in danger from criminal gangs if she refused, she agreed to carry a suitcase to Bali.

She says she was too scared to tell anyone what was happening to her until she was arrested on her arrival in Bali.

“There is…evidence to suggest that a trafficker would seek someone who was vulnerable.

Having reviewed extracts from Lindsay’s medical records I know that Lindsay has a history of mental health issues…

This may have unfortunately made her an attractive target for threats, manipulation and coercion.”

– Dr Jennifer Fleetwood, Specialist on women’s involvement in international drug trading