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Murder-accused UK man 'admits brawl' with Bali policeman

The crime scene where a police officer was slain on Kuta beach Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The crime scene where a police officer was slain on Kuta beach

A British man accused of murdering an Indonesian police officer has reportedly admitted to his lawyer that he fought with the dead man.

David James Taylor, 33, and his Australian girlfriend Sara Connor, 45, have been detained in Bali over the death of Wayan Sudarsa.

The policeman's body was discovered at Kuta beach at 03:30 on 17 August with dozens of head and neck wounds.

The pair face up to 15 years in jail if they are found guilty of murder.

They have been named as suspects in the murder but under Indonesian law have not been formally charged.

Police have 120 days to build their case before prosecutors decide if they will lay charges.

'Cell phone attack'

Mr Taylor's lawyer, Erick Sihombing, said his client confessed to hitting the the police officer after accusing him of stealing Ms Connor's missing handbag.

"He found an old cell phone, he hit the guy's head on the back maybe twice. There is a bottle and an old phone," Mr Sihombing told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"They found on their clothes and trousers a stain of blood and hair, that's why they tried to get rid of them by burning their clothes."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pallbearers carry the coffin containing the body of police officer Wayan Sudarsa

The couple were apprehended by police outside the Australian Consulate in Bali on 19 August.

Mr Taylor - who performs as DJ Nutzo - is originally from Halifax and had reportedly been dating Ms Connor for three months.

Police said the couple's blood was found near the crime scene, in their hotel room and on Mr Taylor's scooter.

Authorities said a broken beer bottle found near the crime scene might be the murder weapon.

'Out of character'

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption David Taylor, wearing a hood over his face, is taken away by police

Both are receiving consular assistance from their respective countries.

Ms Connor had reportedly gone to Bali to meet Mr Taylor after he was unable to renew a tourist visa for Australia.

The mother-of-two is well known on the New South Wales north coast for her small business Byron Bay Fresh Pasta.

Ms Connor's legal team insisted she was not involved in the killing.

On 21 August her family issued a statement in her defence: "The accusations laid against her are totally out of character."

Bali is a popular Western tourist destination, known for its tropical climate and palm-fringed beaches. Petty crime is common on the island, though more serious crime is rare.

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