Southside hairdresser caught with $100k in goods
A SOUTHSIDE hairdresser with no previous criminal history will spend the next two and a half years under threat of jail for the theft of almost $100,000 in goods, including a Gympie Regional Council tractor.
Amy Leigh Foster broke into tears several times as she pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges in Gympie Magistrates Court related to a series of thefts in the region from mid-December last year to early February this year.
These included six counts of break and enter, two charges of possessing a water pipe and scales for drug use, and one of possessing ammunition.
The court heard more than 100 items, including hand tools and camping gear was swiped from shipping containers stored at the Gympie Muster’s Amamoor Creek site between December 14, 2019 and February 4, 2020.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan said a “significant amount” of stolen items were still not accounted for when police made their arrests.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
- Hampton Homes’ licence reinstated after 2-day suspension
- Gympie’s unpaid rates bills hit a staggering high
Foster’s lawyer told the court her 31-year-old client was a hairdresser for more than a decade before losing her job in October last year.
She started suffering from anxiety and depression and “got involved with the wrong group of people and started using drugs”.
One of those people was 32-year-old Widgee man Robert Iain Williams.
Williams was co-accused in the theft, and was sentenced to 2 years and nine months jail in Gympie District Court earlier this year.
Foster was “manipulated and controlled” by Williams, the court heard, even going so far to initially take sole responsibility for the crimes “to protect (Williams) and to prevent him from going back to jail”.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan agreed Foster’s crimes were “out of character” for Foster, who was supported by family in the courtroom.
“I don’t think this sentence needs to protect the community from you any further,” Mr Callaghan said.
“I don’t see the a point in sending you, a first-time offender, to jail.”
He handed Foster an 18 month jail sentence, and released her on parole.
She was ordered to pay $18,941 to SPER in restitution; about $6000 of this will be repaid to the council.