Toowoomba mum steals $176,000 to buy heroin

A TOOWOOMBA mother who broke into homes and a business and stole $176,000 of goods to fund her heroin addiction has been jailed for five years.

Tamara Louise Weatherall, 24, pleaded guilty to breaking into homes and a business in Brisbane on four occasions between September and October last year.

She stole items including jewellery, electronic devices including laptops and mobile phones, cosmetics and passports.

One person lost about $150,000 of items that were not insured.

During her sentence hearing at Brisbane District Court on Tuesday, Judge Tony Moynihan said most of the property Weatherall stole had not been recovered.

During one of the burglaries, she stole a set of keys from an apartment, found the car they belonged to in the basement, and drove off with it.

The car was found days later, damaged, with stolen number plates on it along with Weatherall's fingerprints.

The court heard the mother of one was on a suspended jail sentence at the time she committed these offences.

On Tuesday she pleaded guilty to several charges including three counts of burglary and stealing and one count of entering a premises and stealing, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, stealing and obstructing police.

Weatherall, who went to high school in Toowoomba and wants to live with her mother and child in Toowoomba when she is released, started drinking when she was 13 years old.

Her defence barrister, John Jacob, said his client was introduced to speed and ice when she was 19.

Weatherall was released from prison in August last year and started using heroin.

She was addicted within about a week, Mr Jacob said, and most of the burglaries were committed with another person to feed their addiction.

Mr Jacob said it was the other person's idea to commit the offences but Weatherall admitted to being a willing participant.

He also said she had not used drugs since she was arrested in October last year.

He admitted his client had used drugs when she had been in jail previously, but "she hasn't done so on this occasion".

The court also heard she had an extensive 12-page criminal history and was considered a repeat violent offender.

Weatherall was sentenced to a total five years jail, taking into account time she had already served behind bars on remand.

She was also ordered to serve the remaining time from her suspended sentence.

She will be eligible for parole in May next year. - ARM NEWSDESK

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