Woman asks magistrate for more time behind bars
IT WAS, magistrate Dennis Kinsella admitted, not a request he often received.
A Mount Larcom woman yesterday asked Mr Kinsella to set a parole release date two weeks into the future, instead of the immediate release he had planned to grant given the time she had already served.
The 55-year-old woman had spent 131 days in prison after being arrested for the theft of bottles of alcohol from several houses and shops around the region.
Appearing via video link from prison, she pleaded guilty to 18 charges including burglary, stealing, and breaching bail.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens noted it was unusual for someone of the defendant's age, with a near-spotless record up until the past few years, to face so many charges.
The court was told she had mostly stolen from her neighbours, at one point calling one of their tow truck companies with a fake job call-out, and entering his house as he left.
On another occasion she stole a house key, later admitting it was with an intention to return later.
Defence lawyer Jun Pepito characterised the thefts as "a cry for help", a symptom of his client's recent alcoholism, which followed a bout of depression caused by family circumstances.
Speaking on behalf of the woman, Mr Pepito asked Mr Kinsella to grant her parole in two weeks to allow for proper housing to be organised, rather than releasing her straight away which would mean she had nowhere to go.
"To me it reflects she has some insight into her predicament," Mr Kinsella said.
"That speaks well for her prospects of rehabilitation."
He granted her request, imposing a 12-month head sentence for the most serious of the offences and setting a parole release date of two weeks from yesterday.