Briton given Bali death sentence

Lindsay Sandiford arrives at a courthouse in Denpasar, Bali island, Indonesia (AP)

Lindsay Sandiford listens to her interpreter during her sentencing at a courthouse in Denpasar, Bali (AP)

First published in National News © by

British woman Lindsay Sandiford has been sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

The woman, originally from Redcar in Teesside, was arrested in May after police in Bali said they found 10.6lb of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm that a British national is facing the death penalty in Indonesia.

"We remain in close contact with that national and continue to provide consular assistance. The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances."

Sandiford, 56, was sentenced after being found guilty of violating the country's strict drug laws by the Denpasar District Court.

In the court's verdict, a judge panel headed by Amser Simanjuntak, concluded that Sandiford has damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government's programme of drug annihilation.

The cocaine she smuggled was worth around 2.5 million US dollars (£1.6 million), the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors had said during the trial last month that they were seeking a 15-year prison term, and not pursuing the maximum penalty for drug trafficking, which is death.

Sandiford previously told the court she became involved only because "the lives of my children were in danger".

During the trial Sandiford's lawyer read out a statement from her son which said: "I love my mother very much and have a very close relationship with her. I know that she would do anything to protect me. I cannot imagine what I would do if she was sentenced to death in relation to these charges."

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