Mum-of-seven went on stolen credit card shopping spree
A TOOWOOMBA mother of seven who stole and used a woman's credit card at a number of city stores has been handed a jail sentence.
Junette Alice Mathews, 34, had been fined $1000 for similar offending just eight days before embarking on the fraud spree with the stolen credit card on December 17 last year, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Tony Costa told the court Mathews had stolen a handbag from the open boot of a car parked near East State School while the car's owner was dropping her children off to school on December 17.
The woman returned to her car to find the boot up, but thought it may have come open while the car was unattended and simply closed it and drove on to her work.
Later that day when she discovered her handbag missing, she went to cancel her credit cards only to be told one card had already been used at a number of Toowoomba shops, Sgt Costa said.
Mathews, who was known to police, was recognised on CCTV footage from a number of those stores using the stolen card to obtain items such as tobacco products, takeaway food, sunglasses and phone credits.
Sgt Costa sought total restitution of $884.57.
Mathews pleaded guilty to stealing the handbag, nine counts of fraud and one of attempted fraud.
Her solicitor Sarah Gordon told the court her client, who was pregnant, had been on a downward spiral since May last year.
Her client had only one page of criminal history, all committed in the time since last May and she was now seeking counselling for depression and past drug issues, Ms Gordon submitted.
Magistrate Damian Carroll said the previous fine had little deterrent effect as Mathews had offended within eight days.
"This was greed, there was no need," he said of her offending.
Mr Carroll sentenced Mathews to four months jail, but ordered she be released on parole immediately.
She was ordered to pay full restitution of $884.57.