’Stolen money is from drugs, not dead dad’

After pleading guilty to theft of over $5000, Shyahne Stevenson is pictured leaving court; (inset, from Facebook) with Darren Austin.
After pleading guilty to theft of over $5000, Shyahne Stevenson is pictured leaving court; (inset, from Facebook) with Darren Austin. Mike Richards

A TEENAGE girl says the $15,000 she is accused of stealing from her 50-year-old boyfriend came from drugs and also prostitution.

Shyahne Stevenson, 18, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to stealing money in excess of $5000 from the bum bag of a man named as Darren Austin, claiming she counted the $50 notes and the cash was only $6000.

But police prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said the man alleges $15,000 was stolen on March 15 and that the money was from the estate of his dead father.

Stevenson, pleaded guilty to possession of the dangerous drugs ice (methylamphetamine) on March 18, serious assault of a female police officer by spitting on June 4, and serious assault causing bodily harm by biting a second female police officer, breaching bail conditions, and evading a $67 taxi fare.

Sgt Stevens said she had been staying at his house on March 15 when she stole $15,000 from a bum bag that was on a couch when the man was asleep.

He said police later found Stevenson with a small amount of ice.

She had admitted to stealing $6000 and spending it to pay drug debts and buy drugs for herself.

He said $15,000 restitution was sought.

Sgt Stevens said when police arrested her on June 4, Stevenson faced-up to a female officer, spat at her, and in the fracas kicked out, causing minor bruising to her thigh and elbow.

He said when Stevenson was put in a padded police cell she bit a second female officer on her right thumb, causing immediate pain.

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said her boyfriend Darren Austin was much older than her and they began a relationship met when she was 17 and he was 49.

"She instructs that it was drug money. She accepts that what she did was wrong, but he has also contributed as to why she is in this predicament," Mr Pepito said.

"I'm sure he has," replied magistrate Mark Morrow.

"Did she tell police it was drug money. I hope you have been to the police."

"Yes, previously," she said.

"Have you told police it was drug money," asked Mr Morrow.

"No," she said.

Mr Pepito said Stevenson instructs him the money she took was only $6000.

Mr Morrow said it may require a hearing in which Mr Austin could produce his records to show the money came from the estate of his dead father.

He placed her on a six-month jail sentence (suspended for 18 months) for biting the police officer, placed her on probation for three years, and ordered her to do 240 hours of unpaid community service work.

She was fined $200 for evading the taxi fare.

Mr Morrow made no order for Stevenson to repay the money, saying he was "not really convinced". "If he wants the money, he can sue in the civil court," he said.

Mr Morrow then asked Stevenson about an allegation Mr Austin had used her for prostitution.

"Yes," she said. "Is that right," Mr Morrow asked.

"Yes," she said again.

"I suggest you see the police if you are alleging it was drug money," Mr Morrow said.

Stevenson was then warned that while under probation all drug tests must be negative.

Topics:  court drugs

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