Australian Thomas William Harman pictured among the other prisoner as he arrived to Denpasar District Court for the trial on a theft case in Bali Airport in July. Picture: Lukman/ News Corp Australia
Australian Thomas William Harman pictured among the other prisoner as he arrived to Denpasar District Court for the trial on a theft case in Bali Airport in July. Picture: Lukman/ News Corp Australia

Aussie thief thrown in Bali prison for stealing sunglasses

AN AUSTRALIAN man who stole a pair of $435 designer sunglasses from a Bali duty free shop will be a free man in five days after judges today found him guilty and sentenced him to three months and 15 days in jail.

Taking into account the three months which Thomas William Harman has already served in Kerobokan prison, the 31-year-old will be due for release next week.

The Perth man was all smiles as he was handcuffed and lead from the court after the verdict, giving a thumbs up and declaring he was "very happy" with the outcome.

Asked when he would be returning home, he said: "Hopefully as soon as possible, like in eight days, one week. It's good."

Thomas  Harman smiles after being  sentenced at Denpasar District Court in Bali. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.
Thomas Harman smiles after being sentenced at Denpasar District Court in Bali. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.

His lawyer Erwin Siregar said according to his calculations he had just another five days to serve.

"Can't wait, it will be good," Harman said.

"Once again I apologise to the people of Indonesia for the crime."

He said overall his experience had been good, notwithstanding a bit of suspense at the end.

And he intends returning to Indonesia, despite his last trip ending at Kerobokan jail. Next time, maybe he would visit Ambon or Flores Island, about which he had heard good things.

Thomas Harman’s sentence was well short of the six months demanded by the prosecutors.  Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.
Thomas Harman’s sentence was well short of the six months demanded by the prosecutors. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.

Today's sentence, by a bench of three judges in the Denpasar District Court, was well short of the six months jail which prosecutors in the case had demanded.

Before the sentence Harman was relaxed and smiling as he was lead from the jail holding cells into court.

Judges said his actions had caused loss to the duty free shop and caused restlessness in the community.

But in mitigation, the judges found that Harman had been polite during the trial, admitted his wrongdoing, was remorseful and promised not to commit further crimes.

In addition he had apologised to the shop involved.

Thomas Harman says the incident hasn’t put him off holidaying in Indonesia.  Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.
Thomas Harman says the incident hasn’t put him off holidaying in Indonesia. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.

But he is not out of the woods yet with the prosecution saying they will consider whether to appeal the leniency of the sentence, given it was just over half what they demanded.

It was July 30 this year when Harman, from Perth and a dual British national, found himself on the wrong side of Indonesian law.

Browsing the shops at Bali's Ngurah Rai international airport while waiting for a flight home he tried on a pair of Gucci sunglasses worth 4.5 Million Rupiah or $435 in a duty free store.

Staff didn't directly see the sunglasses being placed in his backpack but CCTV cameras did.

He was then observed changing his shirt, from a black singlet into a blue shirt, before he was arrested.

Charged under Indonesia's Criminal Code with theft, carrying a maximum five-year jail term, Harman was locked up and has been behind bars ever since.

Thomas Harman is all smiles after he was  sentenced at Denpasar District Court in Bali.  Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.
Thomas Harman is all smiles after he was sentenced at Denpasar District Court in Bali. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro.

His lawyer said Harman was a nervous flyer and it was an unconscious thing, done due to his fears about the upcoming flight after a five-day holiday with a friend.

At an earlier hearing yesterday Harman told the judges that he was remorseful.

"I am sorry and I would like to go home as soon as possible," he told the court.

He had offered to repay the money for the glasses and apologised to the duty free store

In a twist, Harman's lawyer Erwin Siregar said he had searched the internet and discovered the particular sunglasses could be purchased for 2.5 million or $242 and his client had offered to pay back twice this amount.

After the verdict, Mr Siregar defended his decision not to fight the case by lodging an official defence.

He said if the same crime had been committed in the US he would have paid a fine to get him out.

Mr Siregar represtened Schapelle Corby after her 2004 arrest on marijuana trafficking charges, as well as members of the Bali Nine and most recently Byron Bay woman Sara Connor, who was convicted over a role in the death of a Kuta police officer.



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