FILE PHOTO: A woman in an apparently hopeless financial situation has faced Gympie court this week.
FILE PHOTO: A woman in an apparently hopeless financial situation has faced Gympie court this week. CHE CHAPMAN

Incoherent, distressed woman with drug issues owes $10k

A GAYNDAH woman facing jail for unpaid fines and restitution might have paid her debts instead of spending money on drugs, Gympie Magistrate M Baldwin said on Tuesday.

Mrs Baldwin expressed concern at the apparent hopelessness of the woman's financial situation, noting she would now owe $10,000 to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry.

"You should be going to jail," Mrs Baldwin told an almost incoherent and apparently distressed Amy Dunford, who appeared in custody, after being picked up by police on Monday.

Dunford spoke rapidly but almost incomprehensibly from the courtroom dock, prompting Mrs Baldwin to observe: "I don't think you know what you are saying even."

"You should be going to jail," Mrs Baldwin said. "You have been in jail. Surely you don't want to go back."

Dunford appeared on a warrant for failing to appear in court to explain why she had not paid a $2000 debt for court ordered restitution, over two years.

"If you'd paid $20 a week off the restitution it would all be paid," Mrs Baldwin said.

"I bet you've spent more than $20 a week on drugs."

The restitution came on top of an existing $8000 debt.

"You now owe $10,000. You're going to end up in jail," Mrs Baldwin said.

Dunford said she had no income because of an issue with Centrelink.

"It's not good enough saying you can't get a birth certificate for Centrelink," Mrs Baldwin said.

"You can buy a birth certifcate over the counter, for a lot less than drugs."

Dunford was also placed on 6 months probation, with a conviction recorded, after she pleaded guilty to possessing a glass drug pipe and a syringe and needle not disposed of properly.

Mrs Baldwin said the probation was intended to help Dunford address "any drug issues."

Gympie Times

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