World

Connor to be released from Bali jail

By AAP Newswire

Australian woman Sara Connor will be released from Kerobokan Prison after serving four years for her role in the fatal assault of a policeman on a Bali beach.

The mother of two, from Byron Bay on the NSW north coast, was jailed alongside her then boyfriend, British national David Taylor, after they were found guilty of over the death of Wayan Sudarsa on Kuta Beach in August 2016.

A brief statement from Indonesia's immigration department said Connor would be released in mid-July. No exact date was given.

The couple were enjoying a night on the beach when they realised Connor's handbag containing $A300 was missing. They split up and searched the beach and Taylor confronted Sudarsa, believing he might have stolen her bag.

A fight erupted and Sudarsa was hit with a bottle and a pair of binoculars. Taylor took his identification cards, which the judges were told had been cut up by Connor because "she panicked and felt guilty".

Taylor also told her Sudarsa was passed out on the beach and the pair maintained they were acting in self-defence. Connor insisted she only intervened to stop the two men fighting and said she was bitten by Sudarsa during the fight.

Prosecutors had sought eight-year terms, alleging gang violence had caused the officer's death. The court also heard Sudarsa had died on the beach several hours after he was abandoned and might have lived had the couple called for help.

That argument formed the basis of an appeal against Connor, whose four-year sentence was increased to five. A bench of three judges found there was no intent to kill thus the couple were spared a murder sentence.

Connor, who is in her 40s and whose two children are now teenagers, has told Australian media she has since separated from Taylor, 10 years her senior, who was jailed for six years.

Her mid-July release was expected.

The former businesswoman received annual remissions for good behaviour, spending most of her time learning how to paint, crochet, and cut hair.

Ketut Arsini, wife of the dead officer, recently told 7NEWS.com.au that human beings should be able to forgive and she had no ill-feeling towards Connor. She did, however, avoid her husband's colleagues because their sight reminded her of painful memories.

Connor was expected to be deported upon release from Bali's overcrowded Kerobokan Prison. However, this could be complicated by disruptions to flights with Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic.