Mandurah: mother (47) who stole war medals sentenced to three years in jail

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MOTHER who committed a “callous” theft and stole a deceased man’s war medals will serve almost three years in prison.

Renae Patricia Stronach (47) appeared in Mandurah Magistrates Court via video link from Greenough Regional prison today.

She pleaded guilty to a string of offences including two counts of home burglary and commit, four counts of stealing and six counts of causing a detriment to a person by fraud.

Stronach’s offending was over a 10-month period from April 2017 to February 2018.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Mick Fallows said Stronach broke into a Mandurah home on April 13, 2017 and stole $2000 worth of property including a laptop, electrical items, a war compass and war medals.

Police said Stronach was on the Mandurah line train on October 21, 2017, speaking to a couple next to her.

As the couple exited the train at Mandurah, Stronach picked up the woman’s wallet and fraudulently used the stolen bank card on mascara, lipstick and petrol.

Sgt Fallows said Stronach broke into another Mandurah property on January 12, 2018 and stole more than $1000 worth of cosmetic items.

Police said Stronach stole a wallet from a vehicle in the Silver Sands area on February 15, 2018 and fraudulently used the bankcard from the wallet six times, equating to $360.

Stronach was arrested for one of the burglary and commit offences on February 23, 2018.

During a search of her home, police found a Clipsal bag of cannabis in her bathroom and a smoking implement with cannabis.

None of the items Stronach stole were recovered.

Defence lawyer Margaret McNulty said Stronach had no recollection of any of the offences.

Ms McNulty said things were spiralling out of control for Stronach at the time; Stronach was using amphetamines to cope with personal stress and would blackout.

“The blackouts would explain why (Stronach) had no recollection of the offences,” Ms McNulty said.

Magistrate Bob Young said he didn’t believe Stronach had no recollection of her offences.

“I don’t accept your lack of recollection as it was clearly a targeted activity,” he said.

“My view says this lack of recollection would avoid me questioning why you would target these homes and where the things could be recovered.”

On February 23, Stronach had her bail refused and had resided in custody since.

The war medals belonged to the victim’s late father and had sentimental value.

Sgt Fallows said the medals were not insured and were never recovered.

“The victim will never see his property again and the accused has a record of dishonesty offences and fraud matters,” he said.

Mr Young told Stronach the theft of war medals was “callous” and an “aggravated feature” of her offences.

“One wonders why the war medals were targeted if they’re of no currency on the drugs black market with little value to a thief,” he said.

Mr Young noted Stronach had previously spent 19 months in prison in 2013 for unrelated offences and sentenced her to two years and 10 months imprisonment, back dated from February 23.

She was also fined $900 and will be eligible for parole.