News

Drug-addicted thief faces more jail after police raid

By Riverine Herald

AN ICE-addicted mother of four and serial thief is facing more time behind bars after another string of thefts.

Kristie Roberts, 35, pleaded guilty in Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday to five counts of theft and breaching a family violence intervention order (FVIO).

The former Bendigo woman has been held in custody for the past four weeks following her arrest during a raid of her home on August 15.

The offending started on April 8 when Roberts attended her former partner’s home, which the FVIO prohibited her from doing.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mick Arnott said after a verbal argument with the man, Roberts became aggressive and unsuccessfully tried to stab his car tyres with a pair of scissors.

On July 20, 22 and 23 and August 8, she went to BWS in Epsom and stole four four-packs of Jim Beam cans, worth $80, and a six-pack of Jack Daniels cans, worth $27.

She also went to Bendigo Spotlight on August 8, where she stole Venetian blinds and an artificial plant, worth $1000.

Police found the stolen items during a search warrant of her home on August 15.

Defence barrister Graeme Davis said his client had recently completed a six-hour drug program while in prison and was willing to do anything to get out of jail.

‘‘If she maintains her sobriety, she is wanting to return to Echuca,’’ he said.

‘‘She’s a bit lost at the moment. She is just focusing on wanting to be with her girls.

‘‘Today she’s despairing about the way she’s letting her children down.’’

Roberts has four children, ranging in age from 12 to 18, some of whom were at court supporting their mother, who sat sobbing in the dock.

Magistrate Michael King said that when he placed Roberts on her community corrections order in April, he had hoped that she would get her life on track and break the cycle.

‘‘She’s had so many chances on orders so perhaps residential rehabilitation will better address her issues,’’ Dr King said.

He deferred sentencing until October 16 to allow time to find a bed in residential rehabilitation.

‘‘I don’t want to send her back into the community and set her up to fail,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t want to put you away for a long time and if you engage in treatment, you’ll be in and out in no time and you’ll be better for it.

‘‘I acknowledge you had a horrendous time growing up and that caused you to resort to drugs but that doesn’t need to define who you are.

‘‘You can work through the pain and move on for the sake of your girls.

‘‘We can’t just allow you to commit offences willy-nilly.’’

Roberts was remanded in custody until her next month’s court appearance.