Kids, 12 and 14, force mum on crime spree
A FORMER Gympie mum, now living in Nambour, drove her two sons to the shops they burgled over a two-year period in Gympie, between December 22 in 2015 and December 4, 2017.
The woman, a victim of sexual abuse since she was a baby, was battling serious mental illness, possibly inherited from her parents, Gympie Magistrates Court was told yesterday.
She was ordered to pay a total of $7086 restitution to victim businesses, including Liquorland Bundaberg and the Gympie's Sushi Tram, Donut King, LCS Fashion and Wide Bay Motorcycles.
Takings from individual burglaries ranged from $10 in a charity collection container at Sushi Tram to $6500 for two motorcycles stolen from Wide Bay Motorcycles.
One of the motorcycles was still missing and the other had been returned in a damaged condition, police told the court.
The woman's solicitor said the woman was trying to raise two boys on her own, after escaping an abusive relationship with their father.
The boys, now aged 15 and 17, had begun to take on their father's abusive characteristics and the woman had lacked the mental strength to stand up to them.
She had driven them to their burglaries because she feared they would steal her car and drive themselves, possibly having a crash, if she did not.
She had since sold the car to remove that possibility.
Neither the woman nor her sons can be identified under sex offence and Child Justice laws.
Police told the court the woman was co-operative and told them she was in possession of a stolen motorcycle, when they attended her home on a different matter.
In submissions on sentencing, the police prosecutor told the court he had never seen a case before of a woman "driving her children around to commit offences."
"You had a tragic childhood. Both you parents suffered mental illness. They met in a psychiatric ward," magistrate Chris Callaghan said.
"One of your mother's brothers killed another brother and attempted to kill your mother, then committed suicide while awaiting trial."
He sentenced her to 18 months jail, with immediate parole.