The former classmate of a grandmother sentenced to death by firing squad in Indonesia is calling on residents to help by writing to their MP.
Elaine Manson, 58, attended Headlands School with Lindsay Sandiford between 1968 and 1969, and is urging the member of parliament for East Yorkshire Greg Knight to do more to secure the release of her old school friend.
“When you read her account in the Mail on Sunday, if that’s true, then it’s very, very sad,” said Elaine of Hutton Cranswick.
“We would do anything to protect our children and she said she was doing this for her son.”
Lindsay Sandiford, 58, who grew up in Bridlington, has dominated newspaper headlines throughout the world since her arrest in 2012 for smuggling cocaine into Bali. In December of the same year she was convicted of the charge and sentenced to death by firing squad, which even
took the Indonesian state prosecutors by surprise.
She is now the only remaining prisoner on death row at Bali’s Kerobokan jail, after eight of her fellow inmates were executed on Wednesday 29 April.
In a letter published by the Mail on Sunday, Lindsay said she was forced into the world of drug trafficking in order to protect her youngest son.
She alleged a well-connected drug ring had threatened to kill him unless she agreed to go ahead with the illegal operation.
Now her school friend Elaine is calling for more to be done to save Lindsay.
She said: “I was really shocked. When I heard that she had been sentenced to death on the news, I knew straight away it was the Lindsay I went to school with.
“Back then we knew her as Lyndsay Rhodes. She was fun, giggly, amusing and popular with her classmates.
“She was a loyal friend. Lindsay lived nearby and would call for me to walk to school come rain, hail or shine. She was kind and protective. I remember so clearly how she stood in front of me when I was threatened by a bigger girl; Lindsay could see I was afraid and came to my aid without hesitation.
“I want other people who may have gone to school with Lindsay to recognise her and write a letter to Greg Knight.
“This was once a young girl we all knew and it’s horrific she should be dealt with in this way. Britain is only a small country, but it is a strong country and we need to bring her home to face justice here.”
Indonesian prosecutors had recommended a custodial sentence because of her level of cooperation with the police, however the judges felt her actions undermined Indonesia’s anti-drugs policy and warranted execution.
Having exhausted all her financial resources in appealing her sentence, Lindsay told the Mail on Sunday that she is writing final letters to her family.
In her letter Lindsay said she would not wear a blindfold when they execute her, saying she wanted “them to look at me when they shoot me.”
She added that the Indonesian Government would give no warning for the next round of executions, so the 58-year-old grandmother does not kno when to expect the end.
Her only remaining hope is to file for a ‘PK’ hearing, which is essentially a full re-trial. However these are costly and the UK government is still refusing provide funding despite a recommendation from the Supreme Court in London.
Lindsay’s family have taken on the task of raising money themselves by setting up a website and accepting donations online.
“I’m hopeful and optimistic there will be a good outcome for Lindsay.”
But the MP Sir Greg Knight said as Lindsay is no longer one of his constituents, he is unable to take up her case.
He said: “Ms Sandiford is not currently a resident of East Yorkshire and she has not lived in Bridlington for decades. She is therefore not my constituent.
“I understand that her own Member of Parliament, the MP for Cheltenham – which is Ms Sandiford’s last place of residence in the UK – has already had a significant involvement in the matter, as have the British Foreign office.
“While I sympathise with Ms Sandiford’s plight, because of Parliamentary protocol, I am prevented from taking up this case. A further problem is that Ms Sandiford is outside the jurisdiction of the British Parliament.
“However, in view of Mrs Manson’s concern, I will certainly speak to the current MP for Cheltenham to see if there is anything more that can be done in this sad situation.”
For more information on Lindsay Sandiford visit www.lindsaysandiford.org/