Bali smuggling suspect Rachel Dougall taken to hospital


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The Independent Online

A British woman being held over a £1.6 million cocaine haul in Indonesia has been admitted to hospital and sedated, according to reports.

Rachel Dougall cannot eat, is confused, and has been given sedatives to calm her down, ITV News reported.

The channel said she is being treated by a doctor in jail, where she is being held with fellow Britons Julian Ponder and Paul Beales on suspicion of drug trafficking.

ITV News said Ms Dougall's lawyer told the channel: "She is sick. She always shouted 'Where is my daughter?'.

"She (said she wants) to see her daughter because she has six-years-old daughter."

Made Sumadi, doctor at Bali Police Hospital, is reported to have said: "The first treatment, we give her sedative to make her calm (so she) can sleep.

"If already she calm, we bring her back to the cell. She get confused because she is very long time don't eat, because she cannot eat rice."

The Foreign Office confirmed it is aware of reports that Ms Dougall has been admitted to hospital.

"Consular staff from the British Consulate in Bali are monitoring the situation and will continue to provide consular assistance," a spokeswoman said.

Ms Dougall, Mr Ponder and Mr Paules were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking at the end of May. An Indian man was also arrested.

The four suspects were held in a sting operation after British housewife Lindsay Sandiford, 55, was allegedly caught with 11lb of cocaine stuffed in the lining of a suitcase as she arrived on the sunshine island.

Ms Dougall, who could receive the death penalty for the alleged smuggling operation, has maintained her innocence, insisting she was the victim of a "fit-up".

It is believed she is in a relationship with Mr Ponder and the couple have a little girl Kitty, reportedly in the care of the couple's maid and gardener on the island.

Mr Ponder has alleged he was set up by Ms Sandiford as he went to pick up a birthday present for his daughter.

The Foreign Office has said British officials are helping the girl as well as the arrested Britons.

Customs officials said Mrs Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, may be spared the death sentence because she helped catch three other members of the smuggling operation, who could face a firing squad.

She is thought to have told police she agreed to make the smuggling trip only because her children in England were being threatened.

Mrs Sandiford was paraded at a press conference wearing an orange prison T-shirt, flanked by masked, armed officers in Kuta, a town on the holiday island, while a customs official cut open packages wrapped in brown tape to reveal a white powder.

Another 2.4oz of cocaine, 10oz of powdered ecstasy and a small amount of hashish were also seized following the arrest of the other gang members at separate locations in Bali, officials said.

It is believed police have 60 days before they have to hand over their files to prosecutors.