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Mother of Bali cocaine suspect is 'devastated'
The elderly mother of Bali drugs suspect Rachel Dougall is “devastated” at her arrest.
Close family members of 75-year-old Stella Woodley, from Withdean Rise, Brighton, yesterday said she was heartbroken over her 38- year-old daughter’s ordeal.
Miss Dougall and her partner Julian Ponder are currently being held in an Indonesian jail, accused of being part of an international ring which smuggled cocaine worth £1.6 million into the island.
If convicted the pair, who have a flat in Eastern Terrace, Kemp Town, Brighton, could face a firing squad or life in prison.
Miss Dougall’s brother Asa, 51, said the family had been in continuous contact with the Foreign Office and the British Consulate.
Speaking to The Argus yesterday, he said: “My mother is devastated.
“Rachel is innocent. It’s not true.
“We are not too well. We are not doing too good.”
He said the couple’s daughter Kitty, six, was healthy and was being looked after in Bali.
Mr Ponder, who is believed to have grown up in Uckfield, is well-known in the Brighton nightlife scene and had connections to the North Laine area of the city.
Yesterday a lawyer for Ponder claimed he had been set up.
Mr Ponder, 49, was arrested along with Miss Dougall and two others.
The four were detained after British woman Lindsay Sandiford, 55, was allegedly caught with 4.8kg of cocaine stuffed in the lining of a suitcase as she arrived in Bali on May 19.
The local police narcotics chief said she agreed to take part in a sting operation in which officers swooped on the other suspects.
Mr Ponder’s lawyer said he was told Ms Sandiford was delivering a present for Kitty’s birthday and when he met her to receive the gift, he was arrested.
His lawyer told ITV: “Julian Ponder believes 100% that he was trapped by Lindsay Sandiford and said he did not touch or accept the package.”
A national newspaper reported claims that villagers in Bali said Mr Ponder and Dougall “lived the high life but didn’t do any work”.
Today it has been said that Dougall is in hospital in Bali, suffering from sickness.
She told the BBC that she had not slept or eaten properly for days.