Jailed mother weeps ‘what about my kids?'
A STRUGGLING Maryborough mum will be behind bars until Christmas for stealing a refrigerator, microwave and double bed from the public housing units where she lived.
Carlie Hope Sparrow was not expecting to be jailed when she was convicted of the theft in the Maryborough Magistrates Court yesterday and whispered fearfully to her lawyer, "What about my kids?" when the police prosecutor led her into custody.
Sparrow, 32, began to cry as she sat in the dock and duty lawyer Trinity McGarvie asked to momentarily be excused from the court so she could inform a waiting friend that Sparrow had been sent to prison.
Sparrow was moving out of the Grace Apartments on Alice St earlier this year when she helped herself to a microwave, fridge and double bed with ensemble base and mattress protector.
The court was told she took the furniture in order to provide a proper home for her children.
Grace Apartments are run by the Fraser Coast Housing Services and offer short-term furnished accommodation to low-income earners.
Sparrow enlisted the help of a male friend to shift her belongings when she left the property on July 14, as she did not have her own car or trailer.
But several witnesses saw her removing the furniture, and as a result she was arrested.
All items were recovered when police executed a search warrant at her new home.
Just one month prior to the theft, Sparrow was placed on a suspended sentence for burglary.
Yesterday Magistrate John Smith activated the six month suspended jail term after fining Sparrow $1000 for stealing.
He said the court had given her a chance to walk free, but she had committed another dishonesty offence.
He also noted that she had stolen property that was used to help people in need.
The 32-year-old mum will be out of jail in time to spend Christmas with her children, with a parole release date set for December 22.