Mum flees to Gladstone, found by police on critical alert
A PAROLEE mum was sentenced to three months jail for cutting off her GPS tracking bracelet and fleeing to Gladstone.
The Deception Bay woman was found in Gladstone at New Auckland three weeks after she removed the device on November 24.
Norma Jane Lawson pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court via video to one count of wilful damage.
The 25-year-old was one of thousands of parolees in Queensland to be ordered to wear the device as part of a new law that rolled out in 2017.
The GPS monitoring system was previously used for serious sex offenders in conjunction with intensive case management strategies however their uses were expanded to all parolees in the past year.
Whether a parolee is ordered to wear a device is subject to assessment.
It is a criminal offence for an offender to remove a GPS tracking device and cutting it sends out an immediate critical alert to authorities.
Lawson was on parole for previous offences when she dumped her device in bushland. The court heard she was found by police on December 13 and has been in custody.
The court heard the 25-year-old was "overcome with emotion" when she ditched the device after not seeing or having contact with her partner.
Defence lawyer Miguel Ramirez said his client Lawson admitted the offending was "foolish".
Restitution of $33 was sought for the broken device and Mr Ramirez asked for fine.
Magistrate Brian Kucks said he believed the offending was beyond a fine and warranted a jail term.
Magistrate Kucks noted there was no similar cases to Lawson's as the GPS tracking bracelets were only recently introduced to all parolees.
"You went missing for three weeks before you decided to resurface and that was only because police found you," Mr Kucks said.
Lawson was ordered to serve three months jail but was given a parole eligibility date of January 7, 2019.