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Reaction after Brighton man sentenced to six years by Indonesian court
A father from Brighton was last night beginning a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of drug offences in Indonesia.
Julian Ponder was found guilty of possessing drugs and was jailed and fined one billion rupiah – about £65,000 – by a court in Bali.
The 43-year-old – who co-owned a property in Eastern Terrace, Kemp Town, with partner Rachel Dougall – was convicted of acting as an accomplice to Lindsay Sandiford.
Sandiford, 56, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was sentenced to death a week ago for smuggling cocaine worth £1.59 million in her suitcase into Bali.
Both Ponder and Dougall, who was born and brought up in Brighton, were arrested alongside Sandiford in a sting operation by Indonesian police in May last year.
Dougall was jailed for a year.
Speaking to The Argus, her father, Barry Dougall from Haywards Heath, said he was delighted his daughter had escaped a tougher sentence.
He said she was expected to be released in April or May this year.
He said: “I am really looking forward to seeing her and will hopefully be waiting at the airport.
“I have spoken to the Foreign Office who is in contact with her and of course she is looking forward to coming home.
“I have not seen her for a long time.
“She will be supported by her family when she returns.”
Referring to Sandiford, he said he thought her sentence was “so cruel”.
Mr Dougall said: “Rachel was dealt with in a local court while she was dealt with in a bigger court which made a difference.
“I could not believe it when she received the death sentence especially because even the prosecution did not request it.”
At the time of her arrest, Dougall, who has a young daughter with Ponder, 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.
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