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Cannabis Briton gets 10 years in Indian jail

Richard Savill, The Daily Telegraph, 13th July 2006

A British backpacker has been sentenced to 10 years in an Indian jail after being convicted of attempting to smuggle 22lb of cannabis.

Daisy Angus, 26, a fitness instructor from Bournemouth, was arrested at Bombay airport in November 2002 after the drug was found in a secret compartment of her suitcase.

She told police she was tricked by her Israeli travelling companion, Yoran Kadesh, 40, into carrying the case. He was acquitted because of insufficient evidence.

Angus wept and told Judge P B Sawant: "I have already served almost four years in jail for a crime I did not commit. This false case against me killed my father and my grandmother."

John Angus, a travel consultant, who had tried to secure his daughter's freedom, died last year from leukaemia while she was awaiting trial. Angus's grandmother also died while she was in prison.

One of Angus's relatives had to be restrained after the verdict as he abused Kadesh and blamed him for her conviction. Her French mother, Nadine, 50, said: "We are very disappointed. We all believe Daisy is innocent."

Angus was stopped by customs officers as she was about to board a plane to Amsterdam. A luggage X-ray aroused suspicion and the hidden drug was found.

Angus, who was also fined £2,500, spent her early childhood in India. Her parents worked as volunteers with Mother Teresa in Calcutta.

In the month before her arrest she joined them in the northern hill station of Dharamsala, where her father celebrated his 50th birthday.

Her parents expected her to go on to Australia but Mr Kadesh persuaded her to go to Europe with him.

The Foreign Office said Angus could apply to serve the rest of her sentence in Britain under a transfer agreement.

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