Addict mum?s $22,000 scam
KRYSTY Lee Bennett gave her newborn baby one last cuddle yesterday before going to jail for stealing more than $22,000 as a drug addict.
With tears running down her face, the Rockhampton single mother, who the day before had celebrated her 25th birthday, accepted she would spend the next five months behind bars.
It was an emotion charged sentencing in Rockhampton District Court that didn't escape Judge Alan Wilson.
In relation to the jailing of a mother of a child so young, he said: "Nobody feels good about it''.
He continued on to say he was "sorry'', but a term of imprisonment was necessary.
Bennett pleaded guilty to a string of offences, including 14 of fraud, three of forgery, eight of receiving stolen property, and burglary and stealing.
Bennett's addiction to speed and her relationship with a drug dealer saw her use stolen identification cards, a passport and birth certificate, to set up telephone services.
Those services racked up more than $18,000 worth of calls.
On one occasion she waited until the woman she had been staying with was away, before using her passport. Another time she occupied a soldier's dwelling without his consent and stole a large amount of property.
Bennett's dishonesty went as far as submitting a fake letter from a doctor to the Townsville Community Corrections Office while she was on probation, claiming that she had a terminal brain tumor.
The majority of Bennett's offending occurred in Townsville between June 2000 and July 2004.
Crown Prosecutor John McGrath said an appropriate sentence was two to three years jail, suspended after six to nine months.
Bennett's barrister Jeff Clarke said she had "turned the corner'' and made "incredible attempts of self rehabilitation''.
She had not touched drugs for two years and not reoffended in that time. Judge Wilson ordered a head sentence of two years.