Laura Jane Elizabeth Harvey, 27, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on November 9 to one count each of armed robbery in company with personal violence and burglary while armed with violence in company with property damage. Picture: Contributed
Laura Jane Elizabeth Harvey, 27, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on November 9 to one count each of armed robbery in company with personal violence and burglary while armed with violence in company with property damage. Picture: Contributed

Druggie mum involved in violent home invasion

A DRUG addict found herself caught up in a violent home invasion, after believing she and three others were merely visiting a Yeppoon home to buy marijuana.

Laura Jane Elizabeth Harvey, 27, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on November 9 to one count each of armed robbery in company with personal violence and burglary while armed with violence in company with property damage.

Crown Prosecutor Edward Fleetwood said the offending involved Harvey, along with two male co-offenders, undertaking a home invasion at the victim’s address in Hidden Valley, Yeppoon, on February 8, 2019.

Mr Fleetwood said the victim was punched by one of the co-offenders before both males pulled knives on the victim.

He said one of the co-offenders then entered the victim’s home.

He said it was at that point the defendant had exited the vehicle and asked the victim if he had any money and he should give it to the co-offenders.

He said the victim told Harvey he did not have any money.

He said Harvey suggested to the co-offenders they should leave.

He said the victim grabbed a knife and went after the co-offender inside his home.

The court heard the victim’s screen had been kicked in and a money tin was taken, which contained about $20,000.

Mr Fleetwood said Harvey and one of the co-offenders were found later that afternoon at the same address.

He said the co-offender was in possession of $16,400.

He said Harvey told police she told the victim to give the money to the co-offenders because she believed one of the co-offenders “was on a mission”.

He said Harvey was unable to tell police why she didn’t contact them or why she assisted with the robbery.

The court heard both co-offenders had been sentenced in court.

Mr Fleetwood said Harvey had a different liability to her co-offenders, both who inflicted actual violence and entered the home.

He said Harvey’s offending involved telling the victim to give money to her co-offender and assisted the same co-offender by driving him from the location.

Barrister Matthew Heelan said his client was under the assumption the group was going to the victim’s house to buy marijuana.

Mr Heelan said his client was panicked when she saw what was happening.

“She just saw (one of the co-offenders) pull a knife and punch this man,” he said.

“She was taken by surprise.”

He said his client accepted she joined in when she asked the victim if he had any money and to give it to the co-offender.

He said she tried to stop the offending by asking the co-offender to leave, who ignored her and said, “shut up c---”.

He said his client was remorseful and upset at herself for putting herself in her current position.

“She wants to apologise to the court and the community for not distancing herself from this robbery when it commenced,” he said.

He said his client was terrified of the prospect of jail.

He said she was a single mother to a six-year-old daughter.

“If she is sent to jail today her daughter will be cared for by her mother, however her mother would have to resign from her job to care for the child,” he said.

“She is also distressed at the thought she will be separated from her child; she won’t have Christmas with her child and will miss her seventh birthday.

“This is a huge wake-up call for her.”

He said his client had issues with dangerous drugs.

He said she had approached Rockhampton Alcohol and Other Drugs Services before the COVID-19 pandemic but did not fully engage.

He said she saw parole as an opportunity to have a deterrent and motivation to abstain from drugs.

Judge Jeff Clarke warned Harvey a parole release order would not be easy for her to comply with if she continued to use drugs.

“If you continue to use drugs while on a parole release order you will find yourself in prison for a long period of time,” Judge Clarke said.

“If you continue to use drugs your mother will lose her job and will have to look after your daughter.

“It is a matter for you what you do with your life. You are at a crossroads.”

Harvey was sentenced to two years and three months prison with immediate parole and criminal convictions recorded.