Olympian steals, needs Salvos help after partner’s death
FORMER Olympic diver Chantelle Newbery was once one of Australia's most successful athletes, now she is forced to beg the Salvation Army for help as her life tragically spirals out of control.
Almost 15 years since her gold medal win at the Athens Olympics, 42-year-old Newbery is facing a string of stealing charges while she has plunged into "deep depression" after the death of her partner Tim Walsh.
The athlete's demise was yesterday laid bare in a court hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, where defence lawyer Robert Burns said Newbery had been unable to give legal instructions because of her mental state, and questions were raised about her fitness for trial.
The former Australian Institute of Sport's "Best of the Best" was yesterday expected to stand trial on seven counts of stealing, but Mr Burns told the court at the 11th hour Newbery was a no-show.
The matter, which was adjourned with the consent of the police, could not go ahead because the woman wanted time to meet with the Salvation Army and had not been in "any state" to instruct her lawyer after the death of her partner last month, the court heard.
Newbery was also listed to appear on a mention for breaching her bail.
Mr Burns told the court the former-athlete was in an "incredibly deep depression to which she is being treated by a doctor".
"She is living in Toowoomba, she has no ability to drive, no family and she is quite isolated," he said.
He later said Newbery had "completely decompensated in regards to life generally" since her partner's death.
In a post to social media in early July, Newbery expressed her heartbreak over her boyfriend Tim's passing, saying she had "no words" but loss, sadness and devastation.
"This picture was taken the night we met," she wrote.
"We became very close, I'd even say he was one of my besties for 5 years (sic) until we eventually switched from friends to lovers.
"We didn't have a great start. In fact, we both fought hard (and each other) and persevered more than most would to stay in a relationship that seemed doomed … there were sparks flying that's for sure!
"We eventually found our wings and we did take off (in Red Bull wing suits hey Tim) I was lucky and privileged to spent (sic) 18 months as Tim's partner. My unit feels empty and lonely without him …"
Mr Ward's death comes after Newbery in May penned a message on social media to for her murdered friend Jason Guise, whose body was found in a sewage holding tank in Wynnum.
Detectives are still investigating the case.
The former Olympian had previously written messages of support to her friend, with mates stating he had "been through hell" after being released from prison to find his possessions had apparently been sold.
"Nooo, please don't be dead," she wrote on Facebook about Guise in May.
"I don't believe you are dead Jason. F*** call me now. Tell everyone they are wrong! Love ya mate. Please be OK."
Newbery remains on bail and her stealing matters have been adjourned until August 27.