British gran begs for help as she faces firing squad in Bali for drug smuggling

British gran begs for help as she faces firing squad in Bali for drug smuggling

A British grandmother who is facing execution in Bali for smuggling cocaine is pleading with the UK government to save her. Scroll down for video.

Lindsay Sandiford, 56, from Cheltenham, was arrested a year ago as she attempted to smuggle 4.8kg of cocaine into Bali from Bangkok, Thailand.

In January, she was sentenced to death by an Indonesian court for attempting to smuggle the drugs, estimated to be worth around £1.6 million.

Sandiford claims that she smuggled the drugs under coercion, believing that her son would be in danger if she refused to carry the suitcase to Bali.

She believes the UK government has abandoned her in her legal fight to quash the sentence.

Although the British Foreign Office has written a submission arguing against her death sentence, it has stopped short of providing legal or financial assistance.

Lawyers acting for Sandiford are due to go to London's Court of Appeal today over the government's refusal to fund her appeal against the death sentence.

Speaking to local news outlet thisisgloucester, Sandiford said: "My family has done all they possibly can to support me and nobody could ask anyone to do any more.

She said she was now knitting a jumper that she will try to auction to raise money for her legal fees.

A Just Giving appeal raised only a fraction of the £8,000 she needs to pay for legal costs.

In her plea to the government, she has written an open letter, printed in the Daily Mirror, in which she says:

"I am sitting in my death row cell here in Bali. Yes, I feel depressed. Yes, I know I have been stupid. Yes, I want to say sorry for what I have done - sorry to the British people for the shame I have caused, and, more than anything, sorry to the people of Indonesia. And yes, I am totally humiliated. But I don't want to beg. I'll accept help. Because I'm desperate and don't know where to turn."

She added that she was "touched and humbled" by the kindness of the British public and "unspeakably grateful" to a man who didn't know her but who set up a Justgiving site and raised more than £2,500 for her appeal costs.

Reprieve, the human rights group, has supported Sandiford's case. Speaking to the BBC, investigator Zoe Bedord said: "Lindsay now potentially faces the firing squad simply because she has no money to hire a lawyer for her appeal.

"Never has there been a clearer example of how the death penalty falls predominantly on those who do not have the funds to defend themselves."

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