Byron woman should be jailed for eight years: Prosecutors
BYRON Bay woman Sara Connor is guilty of group violence causing the death of a Bali police officer and should be jailed for eight years, prosecutors submitted to a Bali court late Tuesday.
And prosecutors submitted that her boyfriend, Brit David James Taylor, is guilty of the same crime and should be also be jailed for eight years.
The lovers both escaped a recommendation they were guilty of murder, with prosecutors submitting that there was no intention on the part of either to murder the officer that night and that the crime resulted from a fight.
In the case of both Connor and Taylor the prosecutors stopped well short of recommending the maximum 12 years available for the crime of group violence causing death.
But there was no differentiation between the demands for Connor and her boyfriend, despite the two testifying to vastly different roles in the crime and Taylor telling the court that Connor played no part in killing the officer, Wayan Sudarsa.
Prosecutors however said that while Connor had given convoluted statements to court and did not confess her role in the crime, Taylor was remorseful and honest, admitting his role in the death and apologising. Both had destroyed the evidence of the crime.
The mother of two boys was visibly upset as the demand was read to the court and comforted by fellow prisoners in the jail holding cells.
The sentence demand is a massive blow to Connor's hopes of being exonerated and allowed to return home to her two boys, aged nine and 11, who are being cared for by her former husband in Byron Bay.
Her lawyer, Robert Khuana, said after court the sentence demand was based on the prosecutor's "imagination".
"It is not based on the facts." Mr Khuana said, adding that the defence believe the Judges would be fair in their verdict.
Taylor, 34 and his girlfriend, Connor, 46, are jointly accused of killing the police officer six months ago on a Bali beach.
The Prosecution's sentence demand or recommendation, made to Denpasar District Court late Tuesday, submits that Connor and Taylor are both "proven guilty of the crime of openly and together doing violence causing death".
The couple had each faced three charges - murder (unpremeditated) which carries a maximum 15 years in jail, joint violence causing death with a maximum 12 years in jail and assault causing death which is a maximum seven years in jail.
Prosecutors submitted there was insufficient evidence to find Connor and Taylor guilty of murder because there was no element of intent but submitted they should be convicted of the group violence charge.
The Prosecutors submitted that the couple committed the crime together and that the victim was big and strong and that the pair was acting together on the beach.
And it was submitted that Connor could not explain adequately why the victim had bitten her twice - on the thigh and arm - if she was not involved in the crime.
In delivering the sentence demands in two separate hearings prosecutors recounted the evidence of witnesses and also the testimony of both Taylor and Connor during their trials.
The sentence demand or recommendation is not binding on the Judges who may deliver a different verdict and different sentence, although it is generally a good guide to the eventual verdict.
Defence lawyers for Connor and Taylor will respond to the sentence recommendation next week when the trials resume.
A verdict in the case is expected by mid March.