The Byron Bay woman accused of murdering a Bali police officer decided to cut up the officer’s identification to protect him from identity theft, a Bali court has heard.
Sara Connor and her boyfriend, British man David Taylor, had just left the beach in Kuta after a brutal encounter between Taylor and Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa.
The pair are facing court over the alleged murder of the local police officer, who was found on Kuta Beach with more than 40 wounds to his body last August.
Taylor admits hitting Mr Sudarsa with a pair of binoculars, his fists, a mobile phone and finally, with a large bottle of Bintang beer.
The final blows with the bottle were delivered with such force the bottle broke on the back of the policeman’s head.
He said he checked whether Mr Sudarsa was still alive before the pair left the beach. He was still breathing, Taylor told the court.
“At first we wanted to go to police. We didn’t know where police station was and no-one would take us so didn’t get to police,” he said.
Instead they went back to their accommodation — a small inn in Kuta. They went first to buy cigarettes for Connor, Taylor said.
“We went to the shop, got cigarettes, then came back and each had a shower,” he said.
They washed their bloodied clothes and hung them out to try.
Taylor had taken Mr Sudarsa’s wallet from the beach. He said Connor then suggested cutting up the cards from inside the policeman’s wallet.
One of the trial judges asked: “Do you understand why?”
“It was to protect the victim,” Taylor said.
“In Australia I know if someone finds the card they can take it and use it. Also someone can use the identification of the victim.”
David Taylor on the floor of a Bali courtroom reenacting his fatal fight with policeman Wayan Sudarsa pic.twitter.com/39ILOjKDV7
— Adam Harvey (@adharves) January 24, 2017
He said he did not immediately return Mr Sudarsa’s wallet to him, as he was lying injured on the beach, because he wanted to go to police and identify his attacker.
“I tried to but don’t know where the police station is,” he said.
He said he and Connor were in shock after the encounter with the policeman, which began after Taylor accused him of stealing Connor’s handbag.
Taylor said that during the fight with Mr Sudarsa he felt in grave danger.
“He had his left hand on my arm like this,” he told the court.
“And with his right arm he put on my throat. He was pressing pretty hard on my throat. I couldn’t breathe very well.
“I had a feeling I was going to die.
“I’d never been in this situation before and I was very scared. I was scared for my life.”
The pair continued their holiday after the fight, but eventually went to the Australian consulate after a friend called Connor to say that she was wanted by authorities, because her identification had been found on the beach next to the dead police officer.
The pair are being tried separately. Connor is due to give evidence in Taylor’s trial next week.
Connor says she only got involved to separate fighting men
After the trial finished for the day, Connor said she was buoyed by Taylor’s testimony.
“I’m glad finally the truth has come out. My only involvement was to separate them. I can’t wait to finally go back to my children,” she said.
Connor’s lawyer Erwin Siregar said the evidence showed that the incident was “the extremism of David”.
“In this case Sara is only involved to try and separate them,” Mr Siregar said.
Connor denied that her actions in returning to her hotel to buy cigarettes and wash her clothes were callous, given that the policeman lay dying on the beach.
“I never knew that the policeman was seriously hurt. I left, never went back out,” she said. “I tried to go to police and report.
“I was upset somebody attacked me [that’s] why [I] tried to help. That was it, after [I had a] shower, I don’t need to report him, I thought it was enough trouble for him to renew his cards.”
Taylor had taken Mr Sudarsa’s wallet and Connor cut up the policeman’s cards.
“I only thought it was a punch-up between two men,” she said.