Susan Leslie O'Brien says she has been deeply traumatised by the crash. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
Susan Leslie O'Brien says she has been deeply traumatised by the crash. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Aussie woman’s heartbreak in Bali court

A Sydney charity worker has been recommended to serve six months' jail after a horrific road accident killed a teenager.

Susan Leslie O'Brien, 49 of Eastwood, faced trial in Bali's northern Negara region charged

with one count of negligent driving causing the death of 19-year-old man Riski Akbar Putra.

Prosecutor Arief Ramadhoni requested the judge sentence Ms O'Brien to six months' jail

with a reduction for time served since in accident in August. The maximum punishment is

six years' jail.

The prosecutor outlined Ms O'Brien's volunteer charity work and her lack of any previous

criminal history as mitigating factors in sentencing.

 

Susan Leslie O'Brien at Negara District Court. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
Susan Leslie O'Brien at Negara District Court. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

 

 

Ms O'Brien told the Bali court that the horrific road accident was history repeating itself.

"A few years ago, I saw my husband have an accident. The accident took my husband's life," she wrote in a statement read to the court.

"In the end the tragic event that I witnessed a few years ago, apparently this had to be repeated in front of my eyes here in Bali island, which I love so much," her statement read.

Prosecutor Arief Ramadhoni called on the judge to sentence Ms O'Brien to six months' jail instead of the maximum penalty of six years jail.

"The mitigating factors are that the defendant has never been convicted (of other crimes) and she is sorry and apologises. The defendant is a volunteer who teaches English to poor children and there is peace between the defendant and the victim's family," the prosecutor said.

Last week Ms O'Brien had an emotional moment in the court when the victim's mother Ana Roikhanah forgave her and fell into the Australian charity worker's arms as they both wept.

"(I) Just have peace and I (have) let it go. Sometimes I miss him but I have forgiven the defendant," Mrs Roikhanah said in court last week.

The Sydney woman has told of her sorrow over the accident. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro
The Sydney woman has told of her sorrow over the accident. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Mrs O'Brien spoke of her sorrow over the accident and went into detail about her own experience when her was killed by in a road accident and how her life in Bali had help her recover her life.

"My sad feelings at that time almost made me unable to carry out any activities, until finally I came to Bali and chose to live in Jembrana, so that I could start a new chapter of my life, so that I could distance myself from that dark memory that still often bothers my mind," her statement read.

Ms O'Brien has travelled to Bali for five years to work from her foundation - the Made Susan Education Centre - where local children learn to speak English. She also supports a dog sterilisation program by making and selling candles.

In court, she asked the people of Jembrana to forgive her negligence and allow her to remain on the island to continue her social activities.

Foreign criminals are typically deported from Indonesia once they have served their time.

Previously the court was told that Riski had lost control of his motorbike and fell onto the road and was hit by Ms O'Brien's car as she overtook a truck and was unable to slow down.

Mr Putra, a student, died at the scene on August 14.

He has just uploaded a live post to Instagram saying "Bismilah gass' - an Islamic prayer.

When Ms O'Brien spoke with News Corp the following day she was deeply traumatised by the accident.

"I saw his head on the road and I ran over him. That was the impact. I saw it and I felt and that's the end of it.

"When I ran over him, I pulled over and was stopping traffic to call the police. I was saying 'sorry, sorry and flapping my arms around," she said.

The trial continues on November 5.



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