Teen avoids jail

A WOMAN stole her housemate's credit cards and then went on a shopping spree of more than $4000, blowing the money on clothes and makeup.

The fashionably-dressed and slim brunette admitted the crimes in Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded that she had changed her ways.

But the 18-year-old, who was on probation at the time for fraud, was slapped with a suspended jail sentence.

Jade Leigh Newman stole Myer credit cards and a David Jones credit card from a woman she was living with in November last year.

In 11 separate transactions between November 26 and December 1, Newman racked up $2760.33 at Myer Pacific Fair, forging the signature.

Newman then went to Myer at Robina on December 1 and spent $1466.22 in three transactions.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Brad Dick said the majority of items purchased were clothing and cosmetics.

Newman pleaded guilty to stealing, two charges of fraud, contravening a direction and breaching a probation order.

She was sentenced to four months jail, which was wholly suspended for two years.

The court heard she had been placed on probation over an earlier offence when she was working at a shop and allowed friends to walk out the door with about $800 worth of property without paying by “voiding” their transactions.

After being placed on the earlier probation order in July Newman reported only once before dropping off the radar.

Defence lawyer Robert Cutler said his client had been living a “homeless, transient-type lifestyle” at the time but had since turned her life around.

Mr Cutler said Newman should be given another probation order because she was in contact with the Ipswich Independent Youth Service, had a casual job at a cafe and was hoping to study education at university.

But Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Newman had not even attempted to abide by her previous probation order.

Ms Sturgess told Newman the items she had obtained fraudulently were hardly “essential”.

“It was probably motivated by greed,” she said.

“It's exceptionally dishonest behaviour.”

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