Sarah Jane Pyke barricaded herself in the ceiling of a Coast arcade and refused to come down when police arrived.
Sarah Jane Pyke barricaded herself in the ceiling of a Coast arcade and refused to come down when police arrived.

Homeless mum barricades herself in cinema ceiling

Emergency services were called after a homeless mother of six barricaded herself in the ceiling of a Coast cinema and refused to come down.

A drug affected Sarah Jane Pyke, 35, was looking for a place to stay when she climbed into the ceiling at a Sunshine Coast arcade.

The Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard Pyke went on a crime spree from February to July, stealing alcohol and food and breaking into units and places looking for somewhere to sleep.

"You tried to get into a set of units, obviously probably hoping it was empty so you could have had somewhere to stay," magistrate Maxine Baldwin said.

The court heard while adversely affected, Pyke climbed into the ceiling in the female toilets at the Majestic Cinema at Nambour and damaged the light fittings.

She also caused "substantial damage" to the ceiling at Centrepark arcade.

Ms Baldwin said Pyke had probably been looking for a place to stay.

The court heard Pyke also stole alcohol, perfume and a baby monitor from various shops, including Coles and Target.

Police prosecutor Brendan Newman said it was evident Pyke's offending was escalating.

He said Pyke's most serious offence came when Pyke refused to come down from the ceiling after police arrived.

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"It required the utilisation of a number of resources including Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire (and Emergency) Service and the QPS," he said.

"It quite evidently puts pressure on the public purse when offenders barricade themselves in and refuse to surrender without the significant response."

The court heard Pyke had been sentenced to 15 months in jail for choking in a domestic setting.

Pyke pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Wednesday to multiple charges, including trespassing and wilful damage.

Pyke's lawyer, Luke Bull, told the court her offending was the result of homelessness.

The court heard Pyke was a mother of six.

Mr Bull said Pyke had lost her partner in 2018.

"Since then, her life has tragically been on a bit of a downward spiral," he said.

Pyke had spent 88 days in custody.

Ms Baldwin said the offending had shown Pyke had gone off the rails.

"What on earth are we going to do with you?" she asked.

"How are we going to get you back on track?"

Pyke said she had plans to head back to Toowoomba.

"The serious obstruct to me is a serious cry for help," Ms Baldwin said.

"Everybody would have known if they were in their right frame of mind that no matter what you were going to do - hiding and barricading, it had to end somehow," she said.

"You clearly weren't thinking straight."

Ms Baldwin sentenced Pyke to one year in jail, with an immediate parole release date.
She was also ordered to pay restitution for the items she stole and $2695 to the owner of building of the arcade and cinema.

Pyke was also ordered to complete 40 hours community service.



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