A former Gisborne man sentenced to seven years in a Balinese prison for cocaine possession would not have been given such a heavy sentence in New Zealand, a legal expert says.
Willie Rare, 57, a Melbourne resident who uses the family name Angus McCaskill, was arrested last June after he was caught with 3.84 grams of cocaine at a Bali supermarket.
Rare was sentenced this week to seven years’ imprisonment at Bali’s maximum security jail, Kerobakan Prison, and fined 800 million rupiah ($115,000).
Gisborne Law Society president Adam Simperingham said there was no way he would have been jailed for anywhere near as long for possessing such a small amount of cocaine for personal use in New Zealand.
“If he had no prior convictions for drug offending, then a non-custodial sentence would be likely,” he told the Gisborne Herald.
One of Rare’s sisters said last week that he had his own secure cell at Kerobakan Prison, thanks to $1000 monthly payments from the family.
“He has a bunch of good friends over there, who bring him fresh fruit, veges and other food,” she said.
Rare is reportedly expected to appeal his sentence.