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David Fox gets seven months for drug use in Bali

Former Reuters correspondent David Fox (photo) was sentenced to seven months in prison for drugs possession and expressed relief and gratitude to a Balinese court for recognising the "circumstances of my peculiar case”.

The sentence, which is less time already served since his arrest last October, means he will be released in just two months. The prosecutor had asked for 12 months.

Fox, 55, a former bureau chief in Jakarta, was arrested for possessing 9.83 grams of hashish.

The court heard he had used the drug to treat post traumatic stress disorder acquired after years of covering wars and conflicts for Reuters.

His lawyer said he had trouble sleeping after witnessing horrors including the beheading of children and the dissection of a pregnant woman's stomach.

Head Judge Erwin Djong said Fox's drug use could impact the younger generation who were susceptible to the effects of narcotics. However he said Fox frankly admitted what he had done, regretted his actions and would not repeat them, and had never previously been convicted of a crime.

"I am very grateful to my legal team and all my friends and supporters for helping me get through this and navigate through the Byzantine system here," Fox said outside court.

"I am very, very grateful. I think the court recognised the circumstances of my peculiar case."

Fox said he would go into rehabilitation after he left jail.

"I am relieved and I look forward to completing my sentence and helping everyone I can in jail and outside when I'm finished," he said. ■