Mum of 8 owing $13K in fines has drugs sentence suspended
A MOTHER of eight children who owes the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) $13,000 was told to stay away from people who use drugs and to do the right thing by her children after facing the St George Magistrates Court on three drug-related charges.
Nina Christina Weribone, 36, of St George, pleaded guilty on February 18 to one charge of possessing property suspected of having been used in connection with the commission of a drug offence, one charge of possessing utensils or pipes that had been used, and a charge of possessing dangerous drugs.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Heather Whiting said on January 16, 2020, police executed a search warrant on the defendant's home.
"During the search police located a small amount of chopped marijuana and a plastic milk bottle formed into a bong on a table," she said.
"Scissors, which appeared to have been used to chop the cannabis, were also on the table."
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Legal Service solicitor Michael Corbin told the court Weribone had been out and had returned home only 10 minutes prior to police arriving with the search warrant.
"The drugs and utensils were there, however they belonged someone else and there was no indication that Miss Weribone was using the drug or utensils," he said.
"Given her overall record and the small amount of drug involved, I would ask the court consider a fine."
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said Weribone had in the past been fined, but currently has a SPER debt of about $13,000.
She sentenced Weribone to two months jail on each charge, suspended immediately; she will serve the sentence concurrently.
"She already owes that amount to the Government, so I will not be giving her a fine," she said.
"You've had fines, probation, community service and suspended sentences so today I am convicting and sentencing you to two month's jail on each charge.
"Stay away from people who use drugs and do the right thing by your kids."