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WA man caught in hashish bust jailed in Bali

An Australian man has been sentenced to seven months in prison after he was busted with hashish in his Bali home last year.

Giuseppe Serafino, 49, spat at an Australian cameraman as he was being led into Denpasar Court on Tuesday to hear his fate.

But he appeared calm as Chief Judge Erwin Djong sentenced him to seven months for drug use, finding he had used hashish to “reduce his pain”.

With time already served, Serafino could be out of prison within two months.

Serafino, originally from Mandurah, immediately accepted Tuesday’s sentence. Prosecutors, who had called for a one-year jail term, said they are still considering whether to appeal.

The jail term is the same as that handed to former Reuters war correspondent, British man David Fox for also using hashish.

Fox was caught in a sting operation at Serafino’s On On Bar in Sanur on October 8.

Serafino, had been caught with less than eight grams of hashish only hours before at his nearby home and lured Fox at the behest of police.

The Australian mother must decide whether to appeal and risk getting more jail time

Both men initially faced charges of drug possession, transportation and use. Had they been convicted of possession or transportation they would have faced up to 12 years in prison.

Use, however, carries a maximum of four years.

The Bali bar owner has previously said he began using marijuana in 2007 for pain relief.

It was a practice he continued in Bali — buying hashish from someone at the fast food restaurant McDonald’s for around three million rupiah ($300).

In a letter handed to court earlier this month by Dr Colin Hughes said Serafino developed cervical spinal compression in 2006, resulting in severe pain.

While he was prescribed a strong pain killer and valium, Dr Hughes wrote that Serafino began to self-medicate with cannabis — resulting in addiction and an “exacerbated ideation regarding jealousy towards his wife and moderately severe depression”.

In 2009, he developed further spinal problems before being diagnosed with a mouth condition in 2010.

Despite living in the popular tourist town Sanur for more than five years, Serafino told Denpasar Court during his trial that he did not know doing drugs in Indonesia was “such a big crime”.

Judge Djong found Serafino, who is being held at Kerobokan prison, was polite during the trial and had no previous offences.

But he said there was “no excuse or justification” for what he had done and that he needed to be rehabilitated.

Fox was found to have been using hashish to help him sleep as a result of trauma from reporting from numerous war zones.

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