A WOMAN who told police to “go catch some real criminals” after she was caught stealing bourbon from a bottle shop has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Jade Debra Ford was jailed after pleading guilty to having no authority to drive, breaching a suspended imprisonment order twice, possessing a controlled weapon and two stealing charges when she appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court on February 9.
The prosecutor said Ford’s licence had originally been cancelled in 2005 and once the disqualification period was up she failed to renew her licence.
Because Ford had 25 fine suspensions and had previously received a suspended imprisonment order (SIO) for similar driving offences she received a jail sentence.
She breached the order by driving unlicensed in 2014 and 2015 in Busselton, Baldivis and Wellard.
Ford had stolen bourbon cans from Dan Murphy’s and Cape Cellars in Busselton on separate occasions.
On one of those occasions, she placed a four pack of Jack Daniel’s cans in her handbag and walked out making no effort to pay.
Later when pulled over by police and questioned about the theft she told them “go catch some real criminals” and “it’s only a $6 can”.
Police found a can of pepper spray in the driver’s door and she told police she had it because she “had some crazy exes”.
Her lawyer said it would be unjust to activate the SIO because his client had been taking steps to beat an addiction.
He said he had represented her in the past and she was looking healthy and the best he had seen her in that time.
He said she had been stealing alcohol and using meth to deal with her depression from abusive partners.
“Is she violent? No, she is someone who is extremely damaged,” he said.
“What do we do with people like Miss Ford?
“I have done a lot of work for these people because I think they are worth it.”
Magistrate Leanne Atkins said the law applied to everyone.
“We have all seen the reasons why laws are imposed,” she said.
“You were placed on the order and you flagrantly disregarded the orders, although you did do the community service hours.
“You knew exactly what you were doing when you choose to drive.
“There comes a time when the only option left is imprisonment.
“If SIOs are not activated it makes them pointless.”
Ford turned to the gallery with her hand on her face and crying.
“Please don’t, oh god,” she said when sentenced.