Local News

Schapelle Corby arrives home in Australia

The convicted drug smuggler is back on home soil after more than 12 years in Bali.

By Bella Brennan

Schapelle Corby is officially a free woman.

Just after 5:00am, the 39-year-old landed at Brisbane International airport with her sister Mercedes Corby by her side.

The pair were quickly whisked quickly away in a black van with tinted windows to avoid the awaiting media.

So far, Corby hasn't been seen in Brisbane since her touch-down with some reports claiming she's checked in at the Sofitel hotel in the city's CBD.

Her sister Mercedes has since been pictured visiting their mother Rosleigh Rose’s home in Loganlea, Brisbane. In another bizarre moment, several masked men were spotted in the windows of Rosleigh's property, taunting the media pack who have congregated outside.

A spokesperson for the family, Eleanor Whitman, released a statement shortly after Schapelle's arrival.

"To all those in Australia and all those in Bali who have been there throughout this difficult journey, your support has not gone unnoticed," she said.

"In the spirit of humility and the spirit of dignity, we ask all parties to show respect for the family's privacy during this time."

"Priority and focus will now be on healing and on moving forward."

The former beautician, who has spent the last three years on parole in Bali, changed her Virgin flight home at the last minute to Malindo Air to avoid the some 40 reporters who had booked seats on her original flight.

In a surprise move, Schapelle joined Instagram just hours before her homecoming and documented her chaotic journey home with a slew of photos.

Her account has already amassed over 80K followers.

"Big thank you to my Bali family, neighbours and my brother inlaw Wayan. #realtime #abouttoleavwmyhomeof3years," she penned.

"Good bye to this parole paper work. Approching parole office for the last time," another post read.

In another unexpected twist, Schapelle was pictured carrying a bag with missing NSW child William Tyrrell's face emblazoned on it and the words "Where's William Tyrrell" as she was leaving her Kuta villa.

The official Facebook page for the missing child were quick to condemn her actions.

"While the Where's William Campaign appreciates that Schapelle Corby has shown concern regarding little William's disappearance and in using her release as a convicted offender from Bali as a media opportunity to increase awareness that William is still missing, we are not happy," a statement read on the Where's William Tyrrell? Bring Him Home Facebook page.

Schapelle carries a handbag with missing child William Tyrrell on it.
Schapelle carries a handbag with missing child William Tyrrell on it.
The 39-year-old covered her face as she left Bali.
The 39-year-old covered her face as she left Bali.

Schapelle was arrested in 2004 when customs officials at Denpasar airport in Bali found 4.2 kilograms of marijuana in her bodyboard bag.

In May, 2005, she was found guilty of importing a narcotic into Indonesia and sentenced to 20 years in jail and fined $13,875. In 2012, President Yudhoyono granted clemency to Corby, and she received a five-year reduction to her sentence.

Corby was granted parole on February 7, 2014 before being released from prison on parole on February 12.

She has always maintained her innocence but her story has become one of the most divisive cases in Australian history.

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