Thursday, 11 December 2008

Aussie painter jailed on Bali drug charges

An Australian painter convicted of drug use in Bali has been jailed for eight months.

Sydney man Shane Christos Demos, 37, was on Thursday found "officially and convincingly guilty" of using hashish and heroin.

Following a trial in the Denpasar District Court, chief judge Nyoman Sutama imposed a sentence of eight months.

Demos had acted against the Indonesian government's efforts to fight drug abuse in the country, Mr Sutama said.

The jail term was slightly more lenient than the one-year sentence sought by prosecutors.

Demos was arrested in September outside a shop in Bali's Double Six nightclub area.

A police search found 5.9 grams of dried hashish and 0.3g of heroin hidden in a cigarette box in his pants.

The Australian told authorities he had paid one million rupiah ($A140) for the hashish, but had been given the heroin for free at a nearby restaurant.

Mr Sutama noted that Demos did not have a criminal record and had expressed remorse.

"The defendant admitted to and regretted his actions. The defendant promised never to repeat his actions again," the chief judge said.

He said Demos had admitted using drugs to self-medicate following a car accident.

Defence lawyer Daniar Tri Sasongko said the Australian "accepted the verdict" and asked that his client be given medical treatment while in prison.

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