Australian Joshua Baker during his trial at Denpasar District Court. Picture: News Corp Australia
Australian Joshua Baker during his trial at Denpasar District Court. Picture: News Corp Australia

Bali drug accused: ‘I’m very very guilty’

PROSECUTORS in Bali have demanded that an Australian man caught at the airport with just 28 grams of marijuana mixed with tobacco be jailed for one year.

The prosecutor's sentence recommendation came after Joshua James Baker, from Brisbane, admitted his guilt and told of his regret at attempting to bring the drugs into Bali.

Baker, 32, from Brisbane, told the Judges in Denpasar District Court last night he was "very very guilty and very embarrassed" by his actions.

He said he knew it was wrong to bring drugs to Bali.

"I was very drunk and stoned and I can't control my actions, even if it's bad sometimes I still do things," Baker told the court.

Prosecutors in Bali have demanded that Joshua Baker be jailed for one year. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro
Prosecutors in Bali have demanded that Joshua Baker be jailed for one year. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro

Asked why he consumed marijuana, Baker said: "It makes my thoughts slow. For me, it's medicine, it's like medicine to help me."

"It was not even enough to sell, I don't remember how much was in there, I was drunk," Baker said.

He told the court that at the time of his arrest he was living in Cambodia and had come to Bali, where he had previously lived, to get his dog vaccinated and arrange for it to be brought to Cambodia.

He brought the drugs with him, after buying them in a bar in Cambodia. He told the court he had consumed drugs since he was about 11 years old.

Baker was arrested in October last year at Bali international airport when he arrived for a three-day break.

The Brisbane man was caught at the airport with 28 grams of marijuana mixed with tobacco. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro
The Brisbane man was caught at the airport with 28 grams of marijuana mixed with tobacco. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro

He has been in jail and in a psychiatric institution ever since with his lawyers fighting the charges on the grounds that he is mentally ill and therefore not criminally responsible for his actions.

The court heard that Baker had used drugs since he was barely out of his teens and that there was a history of mental illness in his family.

Dr Lely Setyawati, a psychiatrist at Bali's Sanglah Hospital, who has treated Baker since his arrest, said he was suffering severe depression with psychotic symptoms and bipolar.

"One one side he is suffering depression, wants to suicide but then on the other side he has the spirit to work," Dr Setyawati told the court.

She said his depression came first followed by drug abuse.

"When he was 17 years old he had tried all kinds of drugs," Dr Setyawati said. "Joshua understands that he has a problem and he needs treatment."

He has been in jail and in a psychiatric institution with his lawyers fighting the charges on the grounds that he is mentally ill. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro
He has been in jail and in a psychiatric institution with his lawyers fighting the charges on the grounds that he is mentally ill. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro

Prosecutor Assri Susantina submitted to the judges that Roberts should be jailed for one year under charges of using drugs for personal use. The maximum sentence for personal use is four years or rehabilitation. He also had possession of 37 Diazepam pills which are regulated by the Health Ministry in Indonesia and for which he is charged.

The prosecution is not pressing for the more serious charges of importing and possessing drugs, which carry much more severe penalties, to be used.

"Based on our consideration, we are convinced that the defendant Joshua James Baker is proven guilty of committing the crime of using drugs for himself as regulated in article 127 subsection 2 of narcotic law and has illegally brought psychotropic drugs as regulated in article 62 of psychotropic law," the prosecutor submitted.

"During the trial, there was no reason found to justify and forgive the defendant. Therefore, the defendant should be punished."

The prosecutor said it was an aggravating factor that Baker's crime brought a negative image to Bali, which was an international tourist destination.

Migitgating factors were that Baker had never committed any crimes before and could not communicate well during the trial due to his mental illness.

"We demand the panel of judge to declare the defendant Joshua James Baker guilty of using drugs as regulated in article 127 of narcotic law and bring psychotropic as regulate in article 62 of psychotropic law. We demanded the panel of judges to sentence the defendant Joshua James Baker to one year imprisonment."

Baker's trial will continue on March 20 to hear the defence response to the one-year sentence demand.



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