A BENDIGO woman who stole thousands of dollars worth of toothpaste and cosmetics during a shoplifting spree has been placed on a corrections order.
Charmaine Walter, 23, pleaded guilty to a trail of thefts from Melbourne department stores and supermarkets.
The Bendigo Magistrates Court heard Walter stole more than $11,000 of toothpaste tubes, face creams and moisturisers between September and October 2011. On two occassions Walter went into Williamstown Safeway and left with a total of $4800 of cosmetics in her handbag.
At a separate attempted theft at Altona shopping centre Walter assaulted a staff member who caught her placing perfume bottles in her bag.
Walter has already served a total of 57 days in police custody after being remanded on multiple occasions.
On August 27 last year she assaulted a police officer multiple times to the chest and neck.
The court heard five of the offences were committed while she was serving a suspended jail sentence.
Walter’s defence counsel Peter Baker argued his client had been pressured by a co-offender to commit crimes in order to pay for drugs.
Mr Baker said Walter suffered an intellectual disability and was coerced into shoplifting.
“It’s extremely unlikely that she would be able to put in those plans and carry it out on her own,” he said.
“She was in the midst of a drug addiction... she had suffered considerable abandonment in her life, she was an extremely vulnerable young woman who had been regularly bullied and rejected by her peers.”
Mr Baker said Walter had been using medication and illicit substances at the time.
Prosecuting, Constable Martin Friend said the thefts represented a “very significant amount of money” and warranted a substantial penalty.
Magistrate Ian von Einem referred to a Corrections Victoria justice plan before handing down sentence.
He ordered Walter to serve a 12-month community corrections order, with
80 hours of unpaid community work.