'You're chronically dishonest': Mother's nappy bag bust
"I DIDN'T leave the store," a young mum insisted to Ipswich police who busted her with a few unpaid goods secreted inside a nappy bag.
But on her 21st birthday, Jacinta Uputaua Fitiao pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to attempting to steal from a store in Redbank Plaza on February 2.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said officers were walking past Big W when they saw a female pay for two items at the counter.
Then when the cashier asked her to open a nappy bag, they found 14 items with price tags still attached.
The security tags had been removed. And when police approached her, Fitiao immediately said "I didn't leave the store".
Sgt Caldwell said the items were valued at $133.
"She says she was going to pay the cashier for the two items then go back through (the self-serve checkout) to pay for the rest," he said.
Her lawyer Allana Davie said Fitiao has one child and unable to receive Centrelink benefits after breaking up with her partner, and been relying on friends.
"She instructs they were required items," Ms Davie said.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess expressed some doubt that Fitiao so desperately needed the items that she stole.
She said Fitiao was a dishonest person who had previously been before the court for stealing.
"I think you are just chronically dishonest," Ms Sturgess told her.
"Your fifth conviction in five months. It is totally unacceptable.
"Regardless of your problems there are always other options."
Fitiao was sentenced to two months jail, immediately suspended for 12 months.