Chinchilla mum jailed for stealing knee-high boots, tequila
A CHINCHILLA mum with a history of stealing nervously walked into Chinchilla Magistrates Court to face judgment for crimes she committed in 2019 while on parole.
On December 3, Tammy Louise Davis, 36, pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to appear, three counts of stealing after a previous conviction, and contravening the direction of police.
The court heard Davis had a lengthy history of stealing and failing to appear and could not show cause for the court dates she had missed.
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana said on February 10, 2019, Davis was caught on CCTV stealing a bottle of tequila from Dan Murphy’s in Toowoomba.
The court heard the second stealing offence occurred in Chinchilla on July 24, 2019, at the second-hand store, Kup of Kindness.
Senior constable Tahana said Davis stole a pair of knee-high boots, while her partner distracted the salesperson.
When police later spoke to Davis at her home, senior constable Tahana said “she initially denied knowledge of the boots, but a short time later she admitted to stealing them,” after police found them in a dirty washing basket in her bedroom.
“That offence does breach her parole…. (and) that offence is somewhat aggravated by the fact that the victim business is a charity shop,” she said.
The third stealing offence happened at Woolworths Chinchilla on September 2, 2019, when Davis left without paying for an orange juice she had stashed in her handbag.
Senior constable Tahana said police were conducting plain clothes operations at the supermarket at 3.30pm when they saw Davis take the orange juice and leave without paying.
“It is of minimal value, however it is aggravated by the fact that having committed those previous offences and being on bail for those previous offences, that she does go and commit another dishonesty offence,” she said.
The court heard the mother of four was born in Toowoomba and had a troubled upbringing, as she had been living on the streets as a 10-year-old girl after being kicked out of home.
Defence lawyer Michael Corbin told the court Davis was previously diagnosed with post-natal distress disorder, agoraphobia, and kleptomania, and had tried to access whatever help she could find in Chinchilla, from support services to churches.
“She is currently working as a bond cleaner, and has been doing very well in the position,” he said.
Mr Corbin said Davis had thyroid cancer in the past, and had a doctor’s appointment later in the day to check to see if the cancer was returning.
“I note that the primary offences are all from 2019… there’s been no other substantial offending (which shows) that she is trying to change her ways,” he said.
“She is making a real effort.”
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said she appreciates the very difficult circumstances that Davis had endured, although said it was concerning she had been before the court on numerous occasions, served time, and continued to steal.
“Within two months of you being placed on parole after serving 53 days, you spent time in jail… you went and stole which was in relation to the second-hand store,” she said.
“You clearly have a problem when it comes to stealing and it doesn’t seem that actual jail and being on parole has deterred you.
“You are here today as the consequence of you essentially being a kleptomaniac, you cannot stop stealing.”
Magistrate Mossop told Davis she would take into account Mr Corbin’s submissions, reducing the prosecution’s submission of an eight-month head sentence, to five months imprisonment.
For stealing tequila, Davis was ordered to pay $51.99 in restitution, and was not further punished.
For contravening the direction of police, Davis was convicted and not further punished.
For stealing the boots, and orange juice, Davis was sentenced to one month of imprisonment for each charge.
For two counts of failing to appear, Davis was sentenced to two months of imprisonment for each charge.
As her daughter and partner sat in the back of the courtroom, Davis broke down in tears and pleaded with the judge to impose a suspended sentence.
“I can’t go back to jail… I haven’t for a whole year, please,” Davis said.
Magistrate Mossop told Davis the only way she would avoid going back to jail, “is when you get out on parole next time, don’t commit any offences.”
Convictions were recorded for all offences.