DRUG smuggler Renae Lawrence is back in her hometown of Newcastle after spending more than 13 years in jail in Indonesia.
Lawrence, with her mother Beverley Waterman, were the last passengers to step off the plane at Newcastle Airport at Williamtown after their Virgin Australia flight from Brisbane touched down about 11.15am on Thursday.
Lawrence walked across the tarmac but as soon as she reached the terminal building, she began running. She bolted through the terminal and into a waiting four-wheel-drive. Friends and family waited behind to collect the luggage.
Once inside the four-wheel-drive, Lawrence threw a green towel over her head and waited while her family and friends collected her luggage and then joined her.
The group then sped off.
They had earlier travelled on an overnight flight from Bali to Brisbane, where they were met by a large media pack. A smaller media contingent met them at Newcastle.
At Brisbane airport, Lawrence was asked if she wanted to take a moment to talk about her homecoming but the teary-eyed, 41-year-old declined. Her mother told AAP: "It's very overwhelming."
But later, when Lawrence was again asked if she had anything to say she spoke in Indonesian, which translated as: "Thanks to the government of Indonesia, that's it."
Lawrence, a former panel beater, was released from Bali's Bangli Prison on Wednesday night after serving 13 years for her role in a plot to import more than 8kg of heroin to Australia from Indonesia.
She is the first member of the so-called Bali Nine to taste freedom after serving time in three Indonesian jails.
- with Australian Associated Press
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