Hervey Bay widow's stolen wedding ring traded for drugs

A HERVEY Bay woman, who traded a treasured wedding ring, which had been stolen from an 82-year-old widow, for drugs has been fined and ordered to pay $6500 restitution to the heartbroken victim.

Sarah Joyce, 25, pleaded guilty in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to receiving tainted property.

The court heard Jason Bowley, the man who has since pleaded guilty to the robbery of a Hervey Bay sex worker and various other crimes, had given Joyce one of three rings, stolen along with war medals in the "ransacking" of a widow's Point Vernon home.

The widow told police the gold and diamond ring, valued at $13,000, was distinctive because the wide band had been melted down from her late husband's wedding ring.

When police discovered photos of Joyce wearing the ring, Bowley told them "she had fallen in love with the ring" but investigations revealed Joyce had in fact sold it to a resident of the Coconut Grove Caravan Park for just one ounce of cannabis.

Police were told the ring had probably since been melted down.

None of the other stolen items were recovered.

Describing the offences as "very serious", Magistrate Graeme Tatnell asked Joyce "how do you think this poor woman feels?" to which she replied "horrible".

Joyce was fined $1000 and ordered pay back half of the ring's value.

Topics:  drugs theft widow

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