A 12-month delay in charging a Wodonga woman with a history of drug abuse has perplexed her lawyer.
“There’s no explanation,” Tim Hemsley told magistrate Rodney Brender, “as to why she wasn’t charged at the time.”
Albury Local Court heard this week that Narelle Carter, who had shaken off her drug problems, had made full admissions when the incidents happened.
This was for a series of shoplifting offences, plus her possession of a water pipe that she told police she intended to use to smoke “ice”.
Mr Hemsley said Carter, 41, claimed she now had “no ongoing drug issues” and “she doesn’t wish to go back to that sort of life”.
“She’s living a quiet life, she’s looking at getting back into the workforce.”
Carter pleaded guilty to five counts of larceny and one of possessing equipment for administering an illicit drug.
She appeared in the court dock having spent two days and one night in custody since her arrest, though was released after being placed on a six-month good behaviour bond.
Mr Brender also convicted and fined Carter $550.
Mr Brender said one factor in the delay of the matter coming to court appeared to be the fact that Carter recently spent three months in jail in Victoria.
He noted though that Carter had not committed any offences between 2002 and 2016.
Carter’s shoplifting spree took place on August 26, 2017, reaping goods totaling $181.74.
That included clothes on sale for $23 at a Salvation Army store in Albury, a $55 top from a West End Plaza clothes shop, $20 in items from a nearby pop-up shop, a $15.99 bottle of perfume from Fifield’s Pharmacy and $59.74 in groceries from Coles, including milk, lamb mince, pasta and a tin of champignons.
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