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Kiwi woman awaits Bali jail release

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/11/2014
Leeza Ormsby has been locked up in Bali for nine months. © AP Images Leeza Ormsby has been locked up in Bali for nine months.

A New Zealander whose holiday to escape her life in Sydney got her locked up in Bali for nine months will soon be free.

Leeza Ormsby, 38, apparently told few people about the February trip to Bali, leaving her Sydney flatmates a note to say she would be back in seven days, and part of her rent.

But when she stumbled on the scene of a Bali drug raid, Ormsby's holiday to relieve the stresses of Sydney life landed her in the very jail Schapelle Corby had vacated two days earlier.

Officers seized a half-smoked joint from her handbag, and MDMA and hashish in the villa.

With no other suspects, Ormsby was detained for months while officers unsuccessfully tried to link her to the other drugs.

She could have been jailed for up to 12 years, but received 10 months after showing contrition and a history of drug use.

She will be released from Kerobokan jail on Wednesday, after the months she spent in police custody and a one-month discount for good behaviour were taken off her sentence.

Her lawyer Ari Soenardi says when he last met her two weeks ago, Rotorua-born Ormsby was a changed woman.

"She told me that she has learnt a lot from the case," he said.

"She said that what she did was only for temporary pleasure.

"If she doesn't learn from it, she will go back and forth to prison."

Ormsby, who spent her 38th birthday behind bars, will be deported to New Zealand on her release.

Kerobokan prison's new governor Sudjonggo says although he had never met Ormsby, reports pointed to her good behaviour, including following religious instruction while behind bars.

No one was ever charged over the other drugs found in the villa, which police pounced on after a tip off about an earlier "drugs party".

Sydney musician Azaria Byrne came forward as the person who had booked the villa but had already returned to Australia at the time of the raid.

Sydney DJ and Ormsby's ex-lover, Marco Mazzucco, was questioned by police, but allowed to return to Australia.

Ormsby was stoic throughout her trial, usually using a fan to shield her face from cameras, but at all times showing respect to the court.

She told the judges she knew the law in Indonesia but broke it when she bought the joint from a man on the beach, and promised to learn from the experience.

The one time she broke her silence to the media, she told reporters she wanted to go home: "I've already told the truth. I've already said the truth."

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