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BALI, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian court sentenced a British grandmother to death on Tuesday for smuggling cocaine worth $2.5 million in her suitcase onto the resort island of Bali — even though prosecutors had sought only a 15-year sentence.
Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, wept when judges handed down the sentence and declined to speak to reporters on her way back to prison, covering her face with a floral scarf. She had claimed in court that she was forced to take the drugs into the country by a gang that was threatening to hurt her children.
Indonesia, like many Asian countries, is very strict on drug crimes, and most of the more than 40 foreigners on its death row were convicted of drug charges.
Sandiford’s lawyer said she would appeal, a process that can take several years. Condemned criminals face a firing squad in Indonesia, which has not carried out an execution since 2008, when 10 people were put to death.
A verdict is expected in the trial of Sandiford’s alleged accomplice, Briton Julian Anthony Pounder, next Tuesday. He is accused of receiving the drugs in Bali, which has a busy bar and nightclub scene where party drugs such as cocaine and Ecstasy are bought and sold between foreigners. Two other British citizens and an Indian have already been convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the bust.
In London, British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire told lawmakers Wednesday that the government strongly opposes Sandiford’s sentence.
“We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time,” he said.
Martin Horwood, a member of Parliament representing Sandiford’s Cheltenham constituency in western England, called the sentence a shock and said he would raise the case with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
“The days of the death penalty ought to be past. This is not the way that a country that now values democracy and human rights should really be behaving,” Horwood told the BBC.
Harriet McCulloch of human rights charity Reprieve, which is assisting Sandiford, urged the British government to support her appeal.
“Lindsay has always maintained that she only agreed to carry the package to Bali after receiving threats against the lives of her family,” McCulloch said. “She is clearly not a drug kingpin — she has no money to pay for a lawyer, for the travel costs of defense witnesses or even for essentials like food and water.”
In its verdict, a panel of Denpasar District Court judges concluded that Sandiford had damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government’s drug prevention program.
“We found no reason to lighten her sentence,” said Amser Simanjuntak, who headed the judicial panel.
Prosecutors had been seeking a 15-year prison sentence for Sandiford, who was arrested in May when customs officers at Bali’s airport discovered 3.8 kilograms (8.4 pounds) of cocaine in the lining of her luggage.
State prosecutor Lie Putra Setiawan told reporters that the verdict was “appropriate,” explaining that prosecutors had been demanding 15 years because of Sandiford’s age.
Indonesia has 114 prisoners on death row, according to a March 2012 study by Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy. Five foreigners have been executed since 1998, all for drug crimes, according to the institute.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has granted clemency to four drug offenders on death row since he took office in 2004.
The most publicized recent case internationally is that of Schapelle Corby, an Australian convicted of smuggling marijuana in 2005. Her 20-year sentence was reduced last year and she is now eligible for parole, but she remains imprisoned.
Associated Press writer Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.


  • Cindy Royal says:

    Yeah man, a desso di hardcore drug mules dem fi guh guh try a ting.

  • LadyWoW says:

    omg sad!!!! wat a harsh sentence. I belive dem threaten dis ooman fi do this….dis is why u have to research some of these countries b4 you visit.

  • toni ann says:

    Good morning met. Good morning metters.

    @lady wow
    I dont think this lady had a choice of where to go if she was forced.

    I am pretty sure I wouldnt do anything to get myself mixed up in this like this but just incase I should and anyone try force me into being a drug mule, I will definately turn myself in to a police or a security gaurd at the airport, because tings like dem yah woulda mek mi commit suicide.

  • good girl gone bad says:

    Wow thats crazy!! Dem Asian countries dont joke when it come to drugs! They dont want that shit in their countries. Ever since mi watch di movie brokedown palace mi fraid ah dem place deh. Dem nuh partial nobody, not even di granny!

  • Met says:

    good morning toni ann :peluk

  • Foxy Lady says:

    This is crazy! I hope that the British government steps in on her behalf. You sentence people to death for murdering and raping little kids and women. Not for drugs. Our damn soldiers are in Afghanistan guarding the damn poppy fields and the damn cia unleash crack cocaine on the urban communities after the civil rights movement to undermine the upliftment of blacks. Prior to that in the 60’s you had strong black families with pride in themselves, the ladies dressed like ladies, men wearing suits even when they were dirt poor but it was the pervasive feeling of black pride and “I shall overcome”.
    So when I see anyone given these ridiculous sentences for drugs, it’s all bullcrap. See because we can’t beat them and we have the blade, them the handle – my friends walk a straight line cos life way too short to spend it behind bars!

  • toni ann says:


  • Met says:

    @toni ann :peluk

  • Espute says:

    Mi dont have any pity for cocaine smugglers,weed mi will by -past.. ppl must think about the consequence before u do the crime..

  • Why should the British government step in? She knew what she was doing age did it willingly!! She even he’d the police to her “friends” in part of a sting. Did she think she was going to get off because she’s an older white woman? When someone like mermaid got locked up (I don’t know her by the way just from reading on JMG ) many said she should of thought of her children etc. This woman should have thought of her children and grandchildren!!

  • ... says:

    HMM this one hard… I mean I could understand if she were younger because they do try to get young women to do that sort of thing unless one of her children got caught up so she trying to get him sorted by carrying it there. Those places are soooo old school its no joke. I went to Japan and a girl lost the “visa” (one cartridge paper cut in a square that have stamp an ting on it) & she had to write a letter to the Emperor or something stating why she don’t have it an all kinda horse dead cow fat. You have to be careful especially when you traveling with ppl cause u guilty by association.. Feel bad for her still cause there seems to be more to this story

  • Belly Bang says:

    Mi nawwwwwwwwwwwwwww guh criticise no law weh nuh government pass just suh. She naw smuggle crab or tomoato or nutmeg, she is smuggling little over 8lbs ah coke!!! Ah nuh babyfeed or medicine fi her own use, ah drugs!!! From mawningggggggggggg di British dem ah guh ah dem country deh & ah get ketch wid di drugs ting and dem always ah get some stiff penalty.

    Nuh play wid di people dem law. If man threaten her fi dweet, ah better Granny did tek her luck wid the PoPo and snitch cause seet deh now, firing squad fi she unless dem same one tek pity pon her ole head.

  • Belly Bang says:

    If yuh guh ah Singapore and spit inna public or curse one badwud, mi nuh too sure ah di penalty, but mi know seh when dem done wid yuh, yuh mout corner dry lakka desert. People fi tap play wid the laws of other countries by avoiding those countries if dem cant abide by dem.

  • Met says:

    :ngakak belly truh y yuh haffi type it like dat

  • ... says:

    True belly but you know some ppl panic an tek di chance & mek a bad move, but you right law is di law

  • Cindy Royal says:

    Wen dem get ketch wid drugs dem come up wid all sawt a story fi try get outta di muck dem lan demself in, suh mi nuh hol har explanation wid much weight. An mi agree wid Belly dat each sovereignty have a right fi pass dem own laws suh me too naw criticize dem especially bout di penalty fi hard drugs like coke, heroine etc – cuz dem drugs deh destroy lives in more ways dan 1.

    Belly if wi (women) guh Middle East an nuh cova wiself good dere is a law fi deal wid wi tuh. If wi guh deh wi might as well conform an nuh badda complain an criticize dem laws or ask fi wi govt help wen wi put wiself inna trouble.

  • Anonymous says:

    Iran publicly hangs 2 in Tehran for mugging, beating man with machete (PHOTOS)

    TEHRAN, Iran — Iran state radio says two men have been hanged publicly after posting a video on YouTube showing them robbing and assaulting a man with a machete on a Tehran street.
    The execution was carried out Sunday after officials called for a speedy investigation and trial because of public outrage.
    The video emerged in early December and was later shown on state TV.

  • MissMention says:

    If for whatever reason yuh willing fi duh di crime, yuh muss willing fi tek di time….suppose di gang did tell har seh fi guh murder smaddy or shoot dem, she would dweet tuh?
    Mi nuh like hear bout nuhbaddy guh jail, but when yuh think of what crack and coke duh people, mi cyaa too moved…

  • Belly Bang says:

    ME!!!!!!!!!!!! Yuh watch TV and read pon net how people guh travel here, there and everywhere, which is good. But mi have the chance to do like them, mi haffi d my research on wat is expected in each country, can I speak just suh, how many times mi supposed to bow mi head each time mi see one long beard man, am I allowed to drive any at all, wats the penalty for loud and outrageous laughter etc etc.

    Mi mite nuh get everyting and if mi do go, mi just haffi behave and dress like one nun and kip mi mout to miself cause I cant manage ah lock up (and dat is if mi mek up mi mind fi go)

  • ... says:

    lol worse Belly I don’t think any of us coulda manage fi dem type a lock up even worse

  • Lady Low f a did a yaady, u wouldnt say dem threaten him or she fi do it, but tru a one white woman, u a marginalize u own, just like how dem train u

  • mercs says:

    boy met me jus look an cut but da one yah shock me bigtime caa me tink this woman did reform by now trust me to god!! a since week me a look pon a pic of one of her son who had problems staying in school! jah know mi shock all head ache no sah me caa come to all now met!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Met says:

    mercssssssss u know har?

  • mercs says:

    yes met she use to be between cheltenham tuffley gloucester quegdley
    a lot of ppl know her

  • mercs says:

    ano every thing me can bawl out ina me chats
    mi kinda believe her story to a extent

  • Met says:

    so mercs she a regular to di ting den?? big woman like dat

  • Met says:

    mi understand mercs

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