Australian women Sara Connor, David Taylor now suspects in Bali police officer murder

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Sara Connor and Brit David Taylor were last night officially named as suspects in the murder and assault of a Bali police officer. Police said the couple, from Byron Bay, faces murder, assault and beating charges which carry a maximum 15-year sentence. But they are not officially charged.

Police have revealed to News Corp Australia detail of the interrogations of the two conducted on Saturday, including claims of an altercation with the now dead police officer.

Denpasar Police chief Hadi Purnomo said blood from the suspects was found at the murder scene.

And he said there were claims that the police officer had bitten the fingernail of Taylor and that Connor had clashed with the victim at the beach gate when she asked for help about her missing handbag.

Confirmation that the pair are now officially suspects in the death came 24 hours after they handed themselves into the Australian Consulate in Bali following almost three days on the run.

Both now have lawyers. Connor is represented by Erwin Siregar, the former lawyer of Schapelle Corby and Taylor’s lawyer is another former Corby lawyer, Haposan Sihombing.

Mr Siregar said last night that a “sad” Connor had faced 16 questions so far but the interrogation had been halted as she was tired and so far the material of the case had yet to be discussed.
He said on the night in question Taylor had picked up Connor from the airport, they had dinner and some beer before going to the beach about 11pm where they had kissed and drunk more beer. He said Connor has been desperately missing her two children. She had tried unsuccessfully to call them yesterday from the lawyer’s phone.

Connor’s Byron Bay family and friends have released an impassioned statement of support for the woman they say is devoted to her boys, 9 and 11.
“The accusations laid against her are totally out of character for this beautiful person,” the statement said. “Her love for her boys is the biggest love in her life. She is very passionate about life and exudes enthusiasm wherever she goes.”
Mr Purnomo said that Taylor had told police his fingernail was bitten by the police officer.
“Sara (Connor) said that she clashed with the victim at the beach gate. They had pulled each other. Sara said because her bag was gone she asked for help from the victim but then they pulled each other,” Mr Purnomo said. He said there was some kind of offensiveness during the conversation.

Earlier Mr Purnomo said Taylor had told police that he tried to help the dying policeman.

Taylor, a Brit who had been living in Byron Bay, was taken back to the Kuta beach scene of the murder at 4am on Saturday by police.

The mystery of what happened that night and how the police officer of 30 years ended up dead on a Bali beach, with 17 wounds to his head, has deepened.

Yesterday both Connor and Taylor were taken to the police hospital for physical examinations. Connor was escorted with a sarong covering her head and face and was heard sobbing while Taylor sat in the hospital and handcuffed, ate a sandwich offered to him.

Police have said both have wounds on their hands and cuts were visible on the hands of Taylor as he ate his sandwich. Police said the wounds were examined in the hospital in a bid to find out if they were old or new.

Police sources have told News Corp Australia that Taylor told police he and Connor had gone to the beach about 9pm and went down to the water, leaving her handbag and their beer on a chair.

When they returned to the chair, the handbag was gone and Taylor ran to the road to look for it.

He says he then went down to the beach again, leaving Connor at the road where there were three other people, whose identities have not been revealed.

Taylor is alleged to have told police that he then saw the victim, police officer Wayan Sudarsa, and tried to help him.

Police say the pair admit to being at the scene but they have made no admissions of involvement in the murder.

On Friday night, shortly after her arrest, Bali’s police chief said that Connor told him that she was on the beach that night with Taylor but was drunk and could not remember much. She is said to have told the chief officer that she lost her bag on the beach that night.

Connor’s NSW driver’s licence and an ATM card were found at the scene, along with a handbag and the police officer’s bloodied and battered body.

The pair surrendered to the Australian Consulate in Denpasar late Friday. Police were waiting at the Consulate and took them into custody.

The traffic police officer was murdered on Kuta Beach in front of the Pullman Hotel in the early hours of Wednesday morning. An autopsy showed he had 17 open wounds to the head and a total of 42 injuries on his body. He had defensive wounds on his hands.

A smashed beer bottle near the body is suspected of being the murder weapon.

Police allege that a man matching Taylor’s description was seen leaving the beach that night with blood on his shirt and blood was found in the nearby hotel room where Taylor and Connor were staying.

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