A Chinchilla mother spent a night in custody.
A Chinchilla mother spent a night in custody.

Young mother escapes jailtime for stealing from friend

FLANKED by two police officers when she entered the Dalby Magistrates courtroom, Hayley Jane Lovell, 24, moved into the docks and lay her head in her hands.

The young mother spent one night in custody for a number of charges, including breaking a bail condition.

The court heard that on March 7, Lovell was placed on bail on a number of conditions, including the requirement to report to the officer-in-charge at Chinchilla station, according to police prosecutor sergeant Derek Brady.

On four separate occasions between May 17 and May 26, Lovell failed to report to the station.

In a separate incident on May 17, Lovell was at a friend’s house for a visit when she took her friend’s wallet from a hiding place in his house.

Sergeant Brady told the court the victim stepped outside to have a cigarette. When he went back inside the house, he found Lovell had left and his wallet was missing.

The victim told police the defendant was the only other person at his house at the time the wallet went missing.

On May 25, police arrived at Lovell’s house where they found the victim’s ATM card.

Lovell told police the victim had given her permission to take the wallet as he had asked her to buy him some cigarettes.

Further investigations showed the card had been unused since it was removed from the victim’s house.

When she was asked by police about the failure to report she said “it doesn’t matter, nobody cares anyway”, according to sergeant Brady.

Defence lawyer Clare Graham told the court Lovell had recently worked in a Bed and Breakfast in Chinchilla as a cleaner, and her previous history indicated she had been through court for stealing one other time between 2013 and 2014.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop told the defendant her sentencing would benefit herself, and the wider community.

“You’re in a bad place at the moment,” she said.

“I’m sentencing you as a liar and a thief, but you’re a liar and a thief who has come clean today.

“In helping you, we’re helping the rest of the community.”

Lovell pleaded guilty to a breach of bail condition, and stealing.

She was sentenced to a nine month probation order where she is required to report to a Community Corrections Officer and undergo medical and psychological testing and treatment.

No convictions were recorded.


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