A GRANDMOTHER sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling cocaine worth £1.7m into Bali has won an initial reprieve.

There were concerns that Lindsay Sandiford, formerly of Redcar, could have been executed tomorrow (Tuesday, January 29) because she had not lodged an appeal.

But she managed to lodge a last minute appeal request through the head of the jail, Kerobakan Penitentiary, where she is being held.

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Mrs Sandiford, 56, who has been living in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire for a number of years, was convicted last week of taking 10.6lb (4.8kg) of the drug into the country.

She was accused by the court of damaging the image of Bali and received the sentence despite prosecutors only asking for a 15-year jail term.

Earlier today (Monday, January 28) it was announced that the British government is to be challenged over its failure to fund legal representation for Mrs Sandiford, who it is thought cannot afford legal representation for the appeal.

Law firm Leigh Day, which is working with the charity Reprieve, said it would cost £2,500 to pay for an adequate lawyer to take on her case, but the Government will not pay.

The firm said Mrs Sandiford, had not been properly represented since her arrest at Bali airport in May last year.

Rosa Curling, from the firm’s human rights team, said: “The UK Government has repeatedly confirmed its opposition to the death penalty. It has a clear legal duty to ensure our client, who has no money to be able to pay for the basic essentials, let alone legal representation, receives appropriate assistance to be able file an appeal against her death sentence.”

The firm is seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision not to pay the £2,500 legal expenses for Mrs Sandiford. A hearing at the High Court in London will be held before Thursday.

Harriet McCulloch, investigator at Reprieve, said: “Lindsay’s poverty means that she has ended up sentenced to death after a manifestly unfair trial.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the Government does not fund legal representation for British nationals abroad, but Mrs Sandiford’s case was being raised through diplomatic channels.

A spokesman added that under Indonesian law Mrs Sandiford and at least two further chances to appeal through the courts and an opportunity to apply for presidential clemency.

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