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Bali jail term heavy sentence for Kiwi’s crime – lawyer

Bali jail term heavy sentenceA 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.