A British grandmother sentenced to death for smuggling drugs into Bali has said she just wants to die after six years on death row, according to her killer friend.
Drug mule Lindsay Sandiford, 62, who was caught flying into Bali from Bangkok with 10.16 lb of cocaine in 2012, has now spent six years on Death Row while three Britons believed to be higher up the smuggling syndicate received sentences of one to six years and have all left prison.
Locked up in Bali’s grim Kerobokan prison – known as Hotel K – Sandiford had been spending her days knitting clothes and toys for her grandchildren, charities, and church groups.
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Brit grandmother Lindsay Sandiford (pictured), was sentenced to death for smuggling drugs into Bali in 2012. She abandoned her legal battle to escape execution and now says she is reconciled with the prospect of facing the firing squad
Sandiford, 62, from Yorkshire, a grandmother-of-two young girls, has been held on Death Row for six years at Bali’s grim Kerobokan prison known as Hotel K (pictured)
Sandiford, originally from Redcar, near Middlesbrough, attempted to smuggle over ten pounds of cocaine into Bali (pictured)
She had been spending her days knitting clothes and toys for her grandchildren, charities, and church groups
But in recent weeks she has reportedly isolated herself and told her murderous fellow inmate Heather Mack that she is ready to die by firing squad.
‘Body In A Suitcase’ murderer Mack said she had become close to Sandiford and the Yorkshire-born grandmother had ‘maternal feelings’ towards her and her child Stella, who had been living in the cell.
The American 23-year-old told the Sunday Mirror: ‘She spends all day pretty much alone in her cell and doesn’t mix so much with the other prisoners.
‘Body In A Suitcase’ murderer Heather Mack has given up her claim on her mother’s estate but has formed an unlikely friendship with Sandiford. She says the Brit has given up and wants to die
‘She snaps at me for no reason but I still make an effort with her. She has said she wants to die.’
Mack said Sandiford’s mental health spiralled after two other inmates – who were in for drug-related offences – were executed.
‘When Lindsay saw that even they could be taken away and killed, she knew it would be happening to her. That’s when it really, really hit home for her,’ Mack said.
Sandiford, who has no previous convictions, was sentenced to death in 2013 after claiming in court she was forced by a UK-based drugs syndicate to smuggle cocaine from Thailand to Bali by threats to the life of one of her two sons in Britain.
Despite the prospect of being shot, Sandiford has said she feels blessed to have lived long enough to have seen her sons grow into ‘fine young men’ and met her granddaughters (one pictured)
Now grey-haired and suffering arthritis, Sandiford has been spending her days knitting in a cramped five metres-by-five-metres cell in Kerobokan prison (pictured). She shares a room with four other women prisoners, most of them poorly-educated local women convicted of drug offences
She received a death sentence despite co-operating with police in a sting to arrest people higher up in the syndicate, sparking an outcry from human rights lawyers and former UK Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald who said she had been treated with ‘quite extraordinary severity’.
The British government has repeatedly refused to fund Sandiford’s appeal, despite a ruling from Supreme Court judges in London who said ‘substantial mitigating factors’ had been overlooked in her original trial.
The syndicate’s alleged ringleader Julian Ponder, 50, from Brighton, was freed from Kerobokan prison in late 2017 following rumours more than £1million in bribes were paid to drop trafficking charges against Ponder, his former partner Rachel Dougall, and fellow Brit Paul Beales.
Julian Ponder, 50, from Brighton (pictured) was the alleged ringleader of the drug smuggling syndicate that Sandiford was involved in but he was freed from Kerobokan prison in late 2017
Ponder (pictured in jail) was freed from Kerobokan prison in Bali two years ago following rumours more than £1million in bribes were paid to drop trafficking charges against him
Ponder (left), who served just six years after being convicted of a reduced charge of cocaine possession, now flits between luxury hotels in Malaysia and Thailand with a 23-year-old Indonesian bride called Nadya (right), a convicted fraudster he met while in Kerobokan
Asked how she felt towards Ponder, known as the King of Bali for his lavish lifestyle, Sandiford (pictured in jail) said: ‘He very seldom crosses my mind. ‘If I dwelt on it I could quite easily send myself insane with the unfairness of it all’
Dougall served one year and Beales four years for involvement in the conspiracy.
Drugs were found in a secret part of Sandiford’s suitcase when she flew from from Bangkok to Bali, Indonesia, and she was locked up in Kerobokan.
She formed an unusual friendship with Chicago-born killer Mack, who was serving a ten-year sentence for murdering her mother Sheila von Wiese-Mack with her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer in 2014 in a plot to take her inheritance.
Mack was due to receive a regular income from her mother’s estate until she turned 30 when she was to inherit $1.6 million, according to Sheila’s will which named her as the sole heir.
Mack and Schaefer stuffed her mother Sheila von Wiese’s body in a suitcase after killing her in Nusa Dua in 2014 (pictured)
The couple dumped Sheila’s destroyed body in a suitcase, hailed a taxi and fled.
Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years and Mack ten despite claiming they were acting in self defence after Sheila lost her temper when she found out Mack was pregnant.
Mack said her and Sandiford became friends because they both spoke English.
But Mack said Sandiford ‘couldn’t believe it’ when Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran – who were part of the Bali Nine drug runners – were killed at the notorious Nusa Kambangan priosn, known as Execute Island.
Sandiford (pictured left with her eldest son and right in her younger days) will be transferred to Nusa Kambangan – known as Execution Island – and shot by firing squad at midnight with up to a dozen other condemned prisoners when and if her death penalty is carried out
She said: ‘They were the nicest guys. They would do anything for anyone.’
Sandiford continued her knitting and used it to raise £7,000 against her death sentence.
But after this an £30,000 from benefactors dried up, she has become ‘resigned to her fate’.
In a shocking interview with MailOnline in February, Sandiford said: ‘My attitude is ‘If you want to shoot me, shoot me. Get on with it.
‘I’ve done a terrible thing, I know, but the worst thing is the ritual public humiliation they seem to enjoy.
‘It won’t be a hard thing for me to face any more. It’s not a death I would choose but then again I wouldn’t choose dying in agony from cancer.’