Esperance woman imprisoned for theft and trespassing

A 34-year-old Esperance woman was sentenced to three months in prison and fined $600 after pleading guilty to stealing and trespassing.

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Maria Narrelle Feeney appeared in Esperance Magistrates Court via video link from Eastern Goldfields Prison before Magistrate Hills-Wright on January 8.

Feeney pleaded guilty to stealing offences at the Reject Shop and Bunnings.

She had been remanded in custody since October 16, when she pleaded guilty to trespassing and stealing from Woolworths. 

The court was told on June 21, 2018, Feeney entered the Reject Shop with a trolley and stole various items including chocolates and deodorant. She left without paying and the incident was captured on CCTV.

On June 26, 2018, Feeney entered Woolworths, although she was already banned for stealing. She took a trolley full of items worth $1597.05 and left without paying. 

Staff witnessed the incident and it was captured on CCTV. She was arrested but told police she had swapped the items for money.

On August 19, 2018, Feeney entered Bunnings Esperance and put two kits in an empty pram.

She left the store and staff approached her. She was verbally abusive and one kit fell out and was recovered.

The offences violated a suspended imprisonment order for similar stealing offences. 

Feeney’s lawyer Sophie Wong submitted a psychiatric report which confirmed she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and had an addiction to speed. 

Magistrate Hills-Wright said her drug use was making her symptoms worse.

“The psychiatrist very bluntly has said the message needs to be, ‘stop taking drugs and take your medication’,” he said.

The magistrate said there had been things put in place to try to help with her addiction, but Feeney had left rehab after a few days and did not comply with past orders. 

Feeney begged the magistrate to deal with the matters by fines. “I don’t want to take drugs anymore and can you please have mercy on me,” she said. 

The magistrate said although he could not backdate the sentence, he took into account her time already spent in custody and her early guilty pleas.

Feeney was fined $300 for the theft at Bunnings and $300 for the theft at the Reject Shop.

She was sentenced to three months in jail for the theft and trespass at Woolworths.