Drugs fine for alleged $350K jewellery thief

YARRAWONGA woman Robyn Ferguson will return to court in July over an alleged crime spree in the North East and southern NSW that netted goods valued at more than $350,000.

Ferguson, 44, appeared in Wangaratta Magistrates Court by video link from jail yesterday for a committal mention relating to 110 charges, including 50 of burglary.

Police allege Ferguson was responsible for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewellery over the past two years.

Magistrate Ian Watkins was told Ferguson’s solicitor wanted to work through the charges with the Office of Public Prosecutions in the hope of resolving them.

Ferguson — in custody since her arrest on November 28 — pleaded guilty to charges of possessing methamphetamine and cannabis.

Mr Watkins was told Ferguson had lapsed back into drug use after her mother was diagnosed with cancer and a relationship had broken down.

Her mother had died while Ferguson was on remand over the alleged thefts from homes.

Police prosecutor Sen-Constable Sarah Williamson said police had seen Ferguson’s vehicle parked at Beechworth on September 15 last year.

When officers spoke to her, she appeared nervous and was speaking quickly.

Police found a syringe on the floor and others in her bag.

She had a zip-lock bag with a crystal substance which she told police was “speed” and another zip-lock bag with cannabis.

Asked about the methamphetamine, she said she used it “to get through the day. It gives me a bit more energy.”

Ferguson has previously been jailed and received an intensive corrections order for drug offences.

But there were no such charges from 2007 until last year.

“It seems you have had a difficult time with drugs over the years,” Mr Watkins said.

He convicted Ferguson and fined her $400 with $110 costs.

Fergsuon was one of four people charged after raids in Yarrawonga and Mulwala in November and the seizure of more than 500 items of stolen property.

Thefts were committed at homes in Cobram, Benalla, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Rutherglen, Corowa and Howlong.