Thursday, 22 May 2008

Australian fisherman jailed in Bali

An Australian fisherman has been jailed for six months for heroin use on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Franklin Brett Maxwell, 45, of Darwin, is expected to be released in July, following his arrest in January this year.

Denpasar District Court today found him "officially and convincingly guilty" of drug use, which had carried a maximum penalty of four years' imprisonment.

A second charge of drug possession, which carried a 10-year jail term, was dropped.

Maxwell was arrested in January after police, acting on a tip-off, found 0.4 grams of heroin inside his motorcycle helmet in Kuta.

He admitted buying the drug from a woman for 800,000 rupiah (about $88).

Judge Sigit Sutanto described Maxwell as a "victim" of drug addiction for 20 years.

"The defendant is actually a victim and has tried hard to be cured, but it's not over yet," Judge Sutanto said.

He said Maxwell's sentence was reduced because he admitted the crime and had no previous convictions.

Maxwell is one of three Australians who have been handed short jail terms this month for recent drug offences in Bali.

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