Offender makes sentence plea

LYNDA May Smith, 28, started using drugs at the age of 12 and at the height of her heroin, ice and cannabis addiction was spending more than $1000 a day feeding her habit, Orange Local Court has heard.

The young woman with a long  criminal history made a plea to Magistrate Terry Lucas at her sentencing hearing yesterday, saying all the members of her immediate family were in prison.

“Before I got locked up my little brother died from suicide. My mum and sister are in jail and my grandmother has died,” she said.

“I thought it would be better to come to jail but I’ve had enough.”

Ms Smith has been in custody since earlier this year, pleading guilty to break and enters carried out in several locations in Orange, including Moulder Street and Richard Laffin Place, where she stole items including laptops, cameras, iPods, jewellery, game consoles and games.

Ms Smith was identified by a fingerprint she left at the scene of the Moulder Street offence.

Her Aboriginal Legal Aid solicitor Arjun Chhabra said his client was a classic example of social deprivation.

“She had a very difficult childhood where she experienced domestic violence and was abused by carers,” he said.

He asked Mr Lucas to show compassion, as Ms Smith had pleaded guilty to the offences and showed genuine remorse for her actions.

He also asked the Magistrate to take into account the six months and 25 days his client had already spent behind bars.

He acknowledged that when she was released from jail she would need significant supervision and direction by the Probation and Parole Service.

Mr Lucas told Ms Smith he was left with no alternative than to send her to jail for a minimum of 12 months, backdating her sentence, which makes her eligible for release on May 16, 2014.

“I just hope you stay off the drugs,” Mr Lucas said.

Ms Smith, who appeared in court via audio visual link, showed her obvious relief, “thank you, thank you, thank you,” she said.

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