Condemned woman slams UK stance

Hampshire Chronicle: Lindsay Sandiford is facing the death penalty in Bali (Reprieve/PA) Lindsay Sandiford is facing the death penalty in Bali (Reprieve/PA)

A British grandmother facing the death penalty in Bali after being convicted of drug smuggling said she feels let down by the British Government.

Lindsay Sandiford, from Cheltenham, was sentenced to death by firing squad by a court in Indonesia for taking £1.6 million of cocaine into the country.

The 56-year-old recently gave notice of her intention to appeal against the sentence but she lost her appeal over a UK Government refusal to fund her legal bid.

Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC 5 Live, Sandiford said by refusing to assist in funding her lawyers, the Government's actions were "tantamount to condoning the death penalty".

The talkshow programme sent 14 questions to Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, via charity Reprieve, but she chose to answer just two. When asked if she thought the British Government was doing enough to help her case, she said: "The Government has done very little to support me. The FCO has done even less.

"However, I have been able to talk about my situation and will continue to do so because there are others in a similar desperate plight that are not seen. There are, and will continue to be, British nationals facing execution without lawyers and because they cannot raise their voices the Government is standing by refusing to assist with funding of lawyers for them.

"This action is tantamount to condoning the death penalty. Just giving and the public have done what the British Government fight not to do at great public expense. The Government and FCO are doing all they can to resist me at this difficult time."

But she did express her gratitude to those people that have helped her, saying it was like a ray of sunshine in her darkest hour. She said: "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the people who made donations together with the uplifting messages of support.

"In my darkest hour, this was like a ray of sunshine. I was beginning to feel that my situation was unbearable. I felt totally stranded and alone. The public's caring has shown just how wrong you can be. I am blessed to know my family loved me whatever. Just giving has shown me that you're never alone. People really do care when they know."

Reprieve said the deadline for lodging her appeal against the death sentence is early next week.

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