Renae Lawrence’s new life in Newcastle may be short lived after NSW police confirmed she would be taken to court over outstanding arrest warrants in coming days.
After arriving at Newcastle Airport from Brisbane on Wednesday morning, Lawrence spent her first afternoon of freedom in 13 years with family and friends at a house Wallsend.
The 41-year-old and 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 at 11.20am.
After walking steadily across the tarmac towards the terminal, Lawrence appeared to panic at the sight of an expectant media contingent and numerous passengers who had waited behind to witness her arrival.
Chaos ensued as she ploughed through a wall of media and then bolted through the arrival terminal and into a waiting four-wheel-drive.
Once inside the vehicle, Lawrence threw a green towel over her head and was forced to wait for about 5 minutes while her family and friends collected her luggage and then joined her.
The group then sped off via Mayfield towards Wallsend.
She spent the afternoon at a house in Wallsend and remained at the address late yesterday.
She is expected to eventually reside with her mother who lives nearby.
Hours after arriving home NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed at a media conference in Sydney that Lawrence would be pursued for outstanding arrest warrants.
Lawrence was allegedly involved in a police chase using a stolen car on the Central Coast on March 26, 2005.
Gosford Local Court issued two warrants for her arrest in June that year, although she was already in an Indonesian prison awaiting trial.
Commissioner Fuller said that, despite believing Ms Lawrence had "paid the price for her sins", the outstanding matters would be resolved via "arrest by appointment" in the coming days.
NSW Police are waiting to charge Ms Lawrence with several offences, including stealing a motor vehicle, driving unlicensed, speeding and failing to comply with police direction related to the 2005 incident.
"I have to be honest with you, I know she’s sinned, and I think she’s paid a fairly heavy price for that," he said.
He said NSW Police would ask her to "come in with her lawyer".
"There are other circumstances where we’d be waiting on the plane and we’d arrest the individual when they got off the plane.
"Others will judge me and think we should have been waiting at the plane for her to pay a price. I think she paid her price for her sins," he said.
"Nevertheless we will still take those two matters to court in terms of the two matters that are still outstanding."
Police claim that, in 2005, one month before the pair were arrested in Indonesia, Ms Lawrence stole a car from Sydney's inner west and drove north with fellow Bali Nine member Matthew Norman.
The pursuit allegedly started in Enfield before the pair travelled through Turramurra, Mooney Mooney and Peats Ridge. The car was later stopped by police.
Lawrence walked free from Bangli prison on Wednesday after her imprisonment for her role in the plan to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin from Indonesia to Australia.
She and her family travelled on an overnight Virgin flight from Bali to Brisbane, where they were met by a large media pack.
They landed at Brisbane Airport about 4.45am local time, 20 minutes ahead of their scheduled arrival, before hopping on a terminal transfer bus.
They were ushered onto the connecting flight to Newcastle by Virgin staff and boarded before any other passengers.
She made one brief mumbled comment in Indonesian as she tried to weave her way through the media scrum, which translated as: "Thanks to the government of Indonesia, that's it."
Fellow passengers had no idea Ms Lawrence had been on the same flight and, when asked by waiting media at the arrivals gate about her, the common response was a look of confusion followed by "Who?"
Passengers said they had not noticed extra security at Denpasar Airport and were dazzled by camera flashes and TV camera lights as they walked through the arrivals gate at Brisbane.
When Fairfax Media tried to ask Ms Lawrence to clarify what she said outside the international terminal, her family refused to respond and she avoided eye contact and kept her headphones in her ears.
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