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US couple jailed over ‘sadistic’ Bali suitcase murder

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A US couple was jailed on Tuesday (April 21) for the "sadistic" murder of the woman's mother, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside a luxury hotel on Indonesia’s Bali island.

Tommy Schaefer, 21, was found guilty of premeditated murder and jailed for 18 years.

His 19-year-old girlfriend Heather Mack, who is the victim’s daughter, was pregnant at the time of the crime.

She was found guilty of assisting in the murder and jailed for 10 years.

Schaefer beat 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese Mack to death with a fruit bowl during a blazing row in a five-star resort. Miss Mack hid in the bathroom during the attack.

The couple then stuffed her body into a suitcase and dumped it in a taxi.

'Disturbed the public'

Schaefer wept in court as judges recounted harrowing details of the case.

"The defendant’s actions disturbed the public and can be considered sadistic," said Judge Made Suweda as he sentenced Schaefer.

Schaefer escaped a death sentence, the maximum term for premeditated murder in Indonesia.

Prosecutors had recommended a 15-year jail term for the girlfriend, but Mr Suweda said judges decided to give her a lighter sentence as she needed to care for her baby daughter, who was born last month.

"Her newborn baby badly needs a mother's love and breastfeeding," the court said.

The baby is living with her mother at Bali’s notorious Kerobokan jail, where prisoners live in cramped, insanitary conditions and drug abuse is widespread.

Source: AFP