Sara Connor sentenced to four years in jail by Bali court over policeman killing

Australian woman Sara Connor has been found guilty of committing fatal assault in company of Bali Police officer Wayan Sudarsa and has been sentenced to four years in jail.


Chief Judge Made Pasek rejected Ms Connor’s claim that all she did was separate her British boyfriend David Taylor and Wayan Sudarsa on the night of the deadly fight in August last year.

Ms Connor, he found, had jumped on Mr Sudarsa’s shoulders, effectively pinning him down.

“The defendant’s action was not intended to separate (them) but to help David Taylor so that the victim could not fight back.”

Australian woman Sara Connor jailed for four years over deadly assault on Bali cop

— Lauren Farrow (@lauren_farrow1) March 13, 2017

The 46-year-old mother of two sat quietly as Monday’s sentence was handed down.

When Connor’s trial began in November last year, her lawyers pleaded with the judges to throw out the case against her, urging them not to “sacrifice” the mother of two from Byron Bay simply to save face.

They argued she should have been charged with eliminating evidence after she cut up Mr Sudarsa’s identification cards following the fight and burnt the clothes she and Taylor were wearing that night.

That offence carries with it a maximum penalty of nine months.

But on Monday, Denpasar court judges rejected this, saying she had played a role.

Watch Sara Connor receive her sentence:

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They also found she had cut up Mr Sudarsa’s identification cards – not in an effort to protect the police officer from fraud as she had claimed – but out of “guilt for what she did”.

The jail term – which will include the seven months Ms Connor has already served – is half of the eight-year sentence that prosecutors had demanded just weeks ago.

Ms Connor said she would consult with her lawyers as to whether she will appeal the sentence.

Indonesian prisoners are also eligible for repeated cuts to their sentence for good behaviour.

Bali judges say Sara Connor effectively pinned local cop down, preventing him from fighting back against her boyfriend David Taylor

— Lauren Farrow (@lauren_farrow1) March 13, 2017

It comes after Mr Taylor was found guilty of fatal group assault in an earlier verdict on Monday.

He was sentenced to six years in jail, two years shorter than what prosecutors asked.

Mr Taylor hugged his parents at the back of the court before being led out.

Ms Connor, 46, is expected to learn her fate on Monday afternoon local time but Judge Made Sukereni has already said that given the nature of the charge she must also be faced with the same offence.

Mr Taylor’s father said the family was “content” with the sentence handed down to their son.

“Concerning the tragic events of that night … we are immensely saddened and our hearts go out to the widow of the officer Wayan Sudarsa and his family to whom we extend our deepest condolences,” John Taylor told reporters at Denpasar Court.

“However, we do believe that our son David feared for his own life that night and his actions reflect that.

“At the end we are content with the sentence.”

He thanked the British consulate, Mr Taylor’s legal team and those who offered support and prayers for his family during this difficult time.

Watch Sara Connor arriving at the Bali court:

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Connor, 46, arrived off the truck from Kerobokan jail first, saying nothing as she was shielded from the pack of journalists by fellow prisoners.

Taylor, 34, emerged afterwards, also remaining silent.

It’s been almost seven months since Mr Sudarsa’s bloodied body was found covered in sand on Kuta Beach in the early hours of August 17. He had 42 wounds across his head, chest and neck.

Watch David Taylor hug his family after hearing the verdict:

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After Ms Connor’s driver’s license and ATM card was discovered next to his body, a hunt for the 46-year-old mother of two from Byron Bay began.

On August 19, after turning on her phone and hearing the news of the search, Ms Connor and Mr Taylor burnt the clothes they were wearing on the night of the fight with Mr Sudarsa before going to the Australian consulate in Bali.

They were arrested by police and have been in custody ever since.

During their separate trials, which have been held concurrently for the past four months, they have faced the alternate charges of murder, fatal assault in company and fatal assault.