A Gladstone woman went on a spending spree with a bank card she stole.
A Gladstone woman went on a spending spree with a bank card she stole.

Woman goes on shopping spree with stolen card

WHEN Catherine Rhonda Thornton found a black Guess bag left in an elevator at the Gladstone hotel she worked at, she couldn’t help herself and she took it.

On January 14, Thornton stole the bag containing a wallet with bank cards, identification and $60 cash, two pairs of earrings, keys, glasses and a phone.

She then went to the Gladstone Valley shops and racked up charges.

Using paywave on the bank card, she spent $23.95 at Woolworths, $11.10 at Brumbies, $5.60 at Golden Chicken and $98.95 at Smokemart on cigarettes.

Thornton went to Australia Post and purchased a $50 money order addressed to her de facto partner in prison, and two envelopes totalling $63.70.

The handbag was later found on a footpath in the Gladstone CBD with only the makeup, keys, glasses and wallet with ID left.

Thorton’s offending continued.

On January 28, a bicycle was stolen from a Gladstone high school which was later advertised on Gladstone Classifieds on Facebook by Thorton.

The owner of the bike messaged Thornton who said she didn’t have the bike, but she could get it back if she paid for it.

The bike had been taken to Second Life Traders and sold for $70 on January 29.

At the time, the pawn brokers had taken a copy of Thorton’s ID, which police checks confirmed belonged to Thornton.

But her offending didn’t stop there.

On June 18, Thorton went to Big W and placed a number of items in her trolley and left without paying.

She was intercepted by police and told them she had purchased the items on Afterpay.

However receipts could not account for several items which included a pair of running shoes, a bag of lollipops, a 24-pack of sharpies, men’s swimmers, socks and USB charge cables.

The 45-year-old pleaded guilty to 15 charges in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Friday including six counts of fraud and three counts of stealing.

Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said drugs had been a significant problem in her client’s life.

She told the court Thornton initially used speed to stay awake to keep an eye on her children after a family tragedy came to light.

“It all went downhill from there,” Ms Ditchfield said.

She said Thornton was “utterly disgusted” in herself for this offending because she considered herself an honest person.

Ms Ditchfield disputed there was ever a demand for money to return the bicycle however conceded Thorton had pleaded on the facts provided.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey said there was no excuse for Thornton’s offending.

“It’s utter arrogance and contempt for the law and a refusal to be rehabilitated,” Mr Manthey said.

Thornton was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with an immediate parole release date.

Restitution was not ordered.

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