Sara Connor on Monday.
Sara Connor on Monday. AAP Image/Roni Bintang

Connor may get longer sentence after appeal

SARA Connor now faces a double-edged sword. Appeal her four-year sentence and face the prospect of having it increased and perhaps be found guilty of a more serious crime.

If she doesn't appeal and the four years stands, she would end up serving less than three more years.

In addition to making up her own mind about an appeal, she has a nervous wait for seven days to find out whether prosecutors will lodge an appeal to have her sentence increased.

And this is a high possibility. Normally, if a sentence is less than two thirds of what prosecutors demanded they generally always appeal as a matter of course.

Prosecutors asked for eight years, the sentence was just half. Both sides now have seven days to lodge an intent to appeal the sentence to the High Court in Bali.

Appeals can be fraught because they can just as easily be increased as decreased.

So even if Connor appealed she could be sentenced to a much longer term or even found guilty of murder, a charge that judges in the District Court rejected. But the High Court could still reinstate it.

There are numerous occasions where the sentence has increased.

Bali Nine members Scott Rush, Si Yi Chen, Matt Norman and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen know this.

They initially got life sentences in the District Court but on appeal to the High Court their terms were increased to the death penalty.

It was only on an appeal to the Supreme Court in Jakarta that they had it reduced back to life.

The dilemma for Connor is that she has, from the beginning, maintained she is innocent of any role in the death of police officer Wayan Sudarsa on Kuta Beach in the early hours of August 17 last year.

But, in trying to clear her name, which she is desperate to do, she runs a high risk of making things worse.

And, given that she has already served seven months of her sentence, since being arrested and the fact that she will eligible for yearly sentence remissions, she will end up serving less than three more years and potentially even less.

This year she will be eligible for one month and 15 days of remissions if she is deemed of good behaviour. The jail governor says she is a kind and well-behaved prisoner.

And the following year she is eligible for up to two months of remissions. With each year served, she is able to receive more remissions.

Ketut Maha Agung of the Denpasar prosecutors office said no decision would be made until the sixth day.

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