Cheltenham mum Lindsay Sandiford had cocaine in lining of her suitcase - court
COCAINE worth £1.6m was found in the suitcase of Cheltenham mum Lindsay Sandiford as it went through an airport X-ray machine, a court has heard.
The 56-year-old, who previously lived in Hester's Way, is on trial in Bali, Indonesia, accused of selling or facilitating the sale of more than 5g of narcotics.
A customs officer told the court that the 4.8kg of drugs were found in the lining of Sandiford's suitcase in May.
The mum of two is one of four Britons facing drug charges in the Indonesian province.
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Sandiford appeared in court in Denpasar, Bali, yesterday where three Indonesian officials testified against her. Christian Septu Nugraha, a customs officer at Bali Airport, told the court that when he showed the drugs to Sandiford, she appeared shocked as if she was not aware of the contents of the package.
He added that Sandiford said at that time that she knew nothing about the cocaine.
During her last court appearance, without a lawyer earlier in October, Sandiford said she thought there might be inaccuracies in the prosecution's case.
Sandiford, who was born in Teesside, then moved to Cheltenham in 2007, is at Bali's Kerobokan prison, where she is being held with three other Britons charged in the case – Paul Beales, Julian Ponder and Rachel Dougall. Ponder and Beales face the same charge as Sandiford.
Dougall is charged with possession of drugs and failure to report a crime. The charge of selling or facilitating the sale of more than 5g of drugs is, potentially, punishable by death.
All four were arrested in May for allegedly importing 4.8kg cocaine.
Prior to the case, Sandiford argued she was carrying the suitcase as her youngest son Eliot, 21, and a former student of Coln House School in Fairford, was being threatened by a drugs gang.
She previously admitted that her and her sons, who both played rugby for Cheltenham, were the neighbours from hell before she left the spa town and moved to India five years ago.
It is believed Sandiford used to live in Loweswater Road and Princess Elizabeth Way.
Eliot was a pupil at the Fairford school after he was expelled from Bournside School in Cheltenham after being suspended 16 times.