Briton jailed over Bali drugs case

Romsey Advertiser: Julian Ponder received a six-year jail sentence in Indonesia for being an accomplice to drug smuggling Julian Ponder received a six-year jail sentence in Indonesia for being an accomplice to drug smuggling

A British man has received a six-year jail term for allegedly receiving cocaine in Indonesia from grandmother Lindsay Sandiford.

Julian Ponder, 43, reportedly from Brighton, was convicted for his role as an accomplice to 56-year-old Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, who was sentenced to death a week ago for smuggling cocaine worth £1.59 million in her suitcase into Bali.

Ponder was found guilty of possessing drugs and also fined one billion rupiah, around £65,000, by a court in Bali.

Sandiford, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has notified Indonesian officials she intends to appeal against her sentence.

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

Ponder and Rachel Dougall were arrested alongside Sandiford in a sting operation by Indonesian police in May last year.

At the time of her arrest, Dougall, who has a young daughter, insisted she was the victim of a "fit-up" and Ponder claimed he was "trapped".

Ponder's lawyer claimed he was told that Sandiford was delivering a present for his child's birthday and, when he met her to receive the gift, police officers arrested him.

Sandiford told the court that she became involved because the lives of her children were in danger.

Reprieve, a charity which seeks to enforce human rights for prisoners, said Sandiford, described as "vulnerable", was targeted by drug traffickers. Law firm Leigh Day, which is working with Reprieve, has said Sandiford has not been properly legally represented since her arrest at Bali airport.

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