“To be called to become Bishop of Durham came as a big surprise but is a huge privilege for many reasons. This ancient Diocese goes way back before England was a united nation. The heritage is extraordinary; each new Bishop of Durham stands on the shoulders of some of the greatest Christians in this country’s long and proud history.
“I am delighted to be coming to Durham and the North East at a time of significant change that is both exciting and challenging in equal parts."
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Sandiford, a former legal secretary originally from Redcar, was convicted of drug smuggling offences and sentenced to death in 2013.
Durham Crown Court heard that one of the male victims suffered a triple-fractured jaw, while left lying in the gutter, unconscious.