A woman has appeared in court.
A woman has appeared in court. Noel Thompson

Mum's life 'not going well' when she stole fuel

FOR one Bundaberg mum, her continued unpaid fuel-drive-offs began to look habit-forming until she was caught and brought before the court.

Bundaberg Magistrates Court heard that Tiffany Gillen's life had not been going well, and she stole the fuel to get to appointments, including the Department of Child Safety.

Gillen, 32, pleaded guilty to four counts of unauthorised dealing with shop goods (fuel) on May 1, June 4, June 16, and June 26.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Andrew Blunt said the victim businesses were Freedom Fuels and Pacific Petroleum, the amount of fuel taken valued at just over $182.

In all cases, she drove off without paying.

Gillen also pleaded guilty to an offence of common assault committed on June 28 against another Bundaberg woman, and obstructing a police officer.

Snr Cnst Blunt said Gillen was at a government office when a woman made a comment about her.

Gillen pushed her into a wall, the woman saying she had been grabbed by her throat.

Gillen later told police the woman's comments had made her angry.

When arrested by a police railway squad who detected that she was wanted on warrants, Gillen had struggled, resulting in the obstruction charge.

Defence lawyer Lavonda Maloy said Gillen had been the victim of an armed robbery and "still traumatised by that”.

Mrs Maloy said Gillen put fuel in her car to get to various appointments, including Child Safety, and assaulted the woman because she felt insulted by what she called her.

"But accepts she took it that one step further,” Mrs Maloy said.

Magistrate, Belinda Merrin accepted Gillen had a disadvantaged childhood and been using illicit substances since a teenager.

"To your credit, since March you have engaged with services to assist you but you did relapse into drug use,” she said.

"It will be a long road ahead.”

Gillen was sentenced to 12-month probation, ordered to complete 50 hours of unpaid community service work, and was fined $150 on each shop goods (fuel theft) offence.

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