true life stories

Bring aunty Schapelle home for Christmas

Monday, November 19, 2012
Bring aunty Schapelle home for Christmas
She lives in a cell with 12 others, so it will be good for her to have people around, and there’s always someone here.
In The Mag

Clinging to hopes of an early parole, Schapelle’s family is preparing for the celebrations.

Schapelle Corby brought out a photo of her dream house to show her sister Mercedes on a recent prison visit. Ripped from the pages of a magazine, it was of an old-fashioned Balinese home surrounded by coconut trees.There wasn’t a fence in sight and it was on the opposite side of Bali to the Kerobokan hellhole she’s called home for the past eight years.

It was the most encouraging sign yet for Mercedes that Schapelle, 35, is slowly coming to terms with her imminent freedom. No-one knows for sure when the Gold Coast beautician, who was convicted in 2005 of smuggling 4.2kg of marijuana into Bali, will be paroled. But her family hopes it may yet be in time for Christmas. Indonesian prisoners, or foreign prisoners with family in Indonesia, are eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

In May, the president cut a further five years from Schapelle’s 20-year sentence, in addition to the 27 months remission already granted. When Schapelle is released, she will have to serve out her parole period living with Mercedes, her Balinese husband Wayan and their children Wayan, 13, Nyleigh, 11, and Nyoman, 5. Mercedes and Wayan built a simple two-storey house when they realised they’d have to say in Bali. Their compound in the heart of busy Kuta comprises six houses and 32 family members.

Mercedes, who has nursed Schapelle through some of the lowest moments – even feeding her when she was in a catatonic state – feels communal living will help Schapelle adjust to the outside. “She lives in a cell with 12 others, so it will be good for her to have people around, and there’s always someone here,” she explains.The children, who have gone from toddlers to teens since their “Aunt Pelle” was locked up, are also excited at the prospect of her coming to live with them.

Read more about Mercedes' hope for Schapelle in this week's Woman’s Day on sale Monday November 19, 2012.

Realted video: Corby’s release uncertain after legal move.

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