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'Purse, clothes and $1750 sunnies': New mum's stealing spree

SUNNIES come in all shapes and styles and can be cheap, functional, or bring glamour to the stylish wearer - at a price.

When Ipswich teen shopper and new mum Kathryn Rawinia Murphy grabbed herself a pair of $1750 sunglasses, one thing was overlooked - she didn't pay.

Murphy, 18, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates' Court to stealing a purse from a woman at Redbank Plains, two counts of fraud, stealing sunglasses from a store at Orion Springfield Central, and stealing clothes from Myer, Brisbane City in June 2017.

Murphy's lawyer told Magistrate David Shepherd that the offences were committed when she was 17, and while on a suspended jail sentence for previous offences.

She had been jointly charged with a co-offender.

The lawyer said the suspended sentence related to an offence in which a weapon was discharged with Murphy being a party to the offence.

"She instructs she has been drug-free for 14 months," the lawyer said.

"The catalyst was since becoming pregnant she ceased drug use.

"The child is six months old."

The lawyer said that at the time of the offence New Zealand-born Murphy's partner was cut off from his Centrelink benefits and she had not been entitled to benefits.

The stealing was done for need, with Murphy selling the items to live.

One fraud was said to have involved "a manicure treatment".

The lawyer said Murphy's partner found a wallet while walking to the shops and used it to pay for her manicure treatment.

"She says she was certainly suspicious. As (to) how he was paying for this," the lawyer said.

The court was told her boyfriend's parents were now assisting the couple and Murphy was doing budget courses.

Mr Shepherd said the value of the sunglasses was not insignificant.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jo Colston said financial restitution was sought for $1750 for the sunglasses, $225 for stolen clothes from Myer and other items worth $56.85.

Mr Shepherd ordered that Murphy pay half the value in restitution (with her co-offender paying the remainder).

Mr Shepherd accepted she had a difficult upbringing, was still young and turning around her life was a credit to her.

Murphy was sentenced to 12 months' supervised probation.

Mr Shepherd said it would be unjust to activate the suspended jail sentence but he would extend it by three months.

Topics:  ipswich crime ipswich magistrates court stealing


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