Briton loses Bali appeal battle

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford has lost a High Court battle over a UK Government refusal to fund her appeal against a death sentence imposed by an Indonesian court after she was found guilty of drug smuggling.

Two judges in London refused to declare unlawful a Foreign and Commonwealth Office refusal to pay for "an adequate lawyer" to represent Sandiford, 56, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Mrs Justice Gloster, sitting with Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, said the court understood "the deep concerns of Sandiford and her family about Sandiford's predicament", but her case must be dismissed for reasons to be given on Monday next week.

Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was given the death penalty by a court in Bali last week for taking 10.6lb of cocaine on to the island. The sentence would see her shot by a firing squad.

Aidan O'Neill QC said Sandiford was urgently in need of funding because she is without legal assistance and her family have exhausted all of their available resources.

The Government was accused of breaching Sandiford's "fundamental rights" by refusing to pay for legal representation as she battles for her life.

In an extraordinary last bid to secure the £2,500 said to be necessary to obtain representation from an Indonesian lawyer, Mr O'Neill suggested that the court should order the sum to be paid "by way of a loan" pending an appeal against the latest ruling.

But Mrs Justice Gloster said an appeal had "no reasonable prospect of success" and the court was not prepared to order the Government to make a loan.

The judge said: "It would in effect provide the claimant with the relief she seeks in her substantial action."

It is still open to Sandiford's lawyers to ask the Court of Appeal itself to intervene.