Fleeing thief wields broom in battle with Bunnings staff

THIEF Jessica Johnson fought back with a broom at Bunnings staff who spotted her wheeling a trolley load of unpaid items out of the store.

Jessica Kayla Johnson, 26, from Goodna, appeared in the dock at Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to five counts of stealing; receiving tainted property; two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle; obstructing police at licensed premises; assault; fraud; and failing to take care/precautions with a needle/syringe.

Johnson appeared in custody after her arrest in December.

Johnson was caught stealing from Bunnings at Bundamba on October 19, 2018, after being confronted by staff.

When caught, she grabbed a broom from the trolley and swung it at a female staff member.

Other thefts involved fuel drive-offs at Springfield and Bundamba; and stealing alcohol, a bottle of bourbon from a shop in Oxley on June 4.

In another incident, she abused police at the Cecil Gordon hotel at Goodna, calling officers "dogs, f---ing retards".

The use of stolen vehicles included a Mazda CX9 - her fingerprints were found inside.

No police facts were heard in the open court on which she was being sentenced.

Prosecutor, Senior Constable Bernard Elmore said that a jail term was appropriate for the stealing and assault offences.

Defence lawyer Jason Voight said Johnson had lived in Ipswich since the age of 10 and she is a mother of two.

Mr Voight said, at the time of her offending, Johnson was using illicit drugs and not taking medication for diagnosed mental health issues.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said Johnson was on parole when she committed the offences.

"You need to keep out of trouble, find a path," Ms MacCullum said.

"It is not good for the children that their mother is in prison.

"Or that they are given the idea it is OK to do that (steal).

"I'm sure you don't want to visit them in jail by following in your footsteps."

Johnson's former mother-in-law looked after the children while the mother was in jail.

Ms MacCallum said Johnson had used her time in jail well and had been a model prisoner.

Johnson was convicted and sentenced to six months' jail - suspended for 18 months.

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