Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence will be able to rebuild her life after escaping conviction in Australia for old crimes following her 13-year stint in an Indonesian prison.
Magistrate Sharron Crews on Tuesday convicted Lawrence over a March 2005 high-speed police chase in NSW and handed the 41-year-old a 12-month community corrections order.
The magistrate said she hoped Lawrence would be able to continue her rehabilitation and live her life in Australia as a law-abiding citizen and an example to others.
Defence lawyer Drew Hamilton told Newcastle Local Court that Lawrence was managing her mental health problems by seeing a psychiatrist and her treating doctor, and taking prescription medication.
Mr Hamilton said Lawrence was a strong, independent and resilient woman who had been ”put through the wringer” since her arrest in Bali for drug smuggling in April 2005.
The time Lawrence had spent in a harsh Indonesian prison environment had given her plenty of time to reflect on her life decisions, the magistrate said.
Lawrence was 27 in 2005 with no fixed address. She had limited contact with her family and was leading a “chaotic life” as a result of her drug use before the NSW car chase and the subsequent trip to Bali.
Ms Crews said her task was to make sure Lawrence was held accountable for her “serious” actions in NSW in 2005.
As well as being handed the corrections order, Lawrence was disqualified from driving for three months and fined $1000.
Lawrence pleaded guilty to charges of car theft, driving while unlicensed, speeding and failing to stop for police.
In April 2005, she was caught at Bali airport with 2.7 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body and later jailed for 20 years.
She served 13 years after being granted sentence reductions.