Woman stole nephew's dog while he was in hospital

A WOMAN who found that a dog belonging to her nephew and his girlfriend had been left home alone with seemingly no food or water faced court yesterday after she broke into the yard and stole the animal.

Tina Maree Johnson, 25, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to trespass and stealing over the incident.

The court heard Johnson's nephew was in hospital on life support and his girlfriend was with him.

Johnson went to their house to check on the condition of the ridgeback-chihuahua cross while they were in hospital.

Police spoke with her on October 6 and Johnson admitted she did not intend to return the dog.

Lawyer Juan Pepito said she took the dog home with her because she believed it had no food or water, but accepted she should have told the owners.

The court heard her nephew had since passed away, and the dog had been returned.

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll acknowledged that her nephew's death would have been a very traumatic event, but said she should have used an alternative process to avoid ending up in court.

Johnson was fined $600. No conviction was recorded.

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