Ipswich Courthouse. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Courthouse. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Serial road offender warned she may never hold licence again

A WOMAN who went before an Ipswich court on her 11th offence for driving while disqualified will remain in jail for some time due to long delays in processing Queensland parole applications.

Jade Stelling was given immediate parole eligibility but now faces uncertainty as to the time it will take when making her case for parole release.

Thousands of prisoners are experiencing long delays by the parole board in finalising their applications, the Ipswich Magistrate Court heard when she was sentenced.

Appearing from jail via video-link Jade Teresa Stelling, 31, from Wulkuraka, pleaded guilty to 13 charges.

The charges include unlawful common assault at North Ipswich on August 8, 2020; four counts of possession of illegal drugs including methamphetamine in Eastern Heights on May 22, 2019; two counts of failing to safely dispose of used needles/ syringes; driving when disqualified at Plainland on October 21, 2019; and four breaches of bail.

Police prosecution reduced one charge from assault causing bodily harm when armed/in company, to common assault.

No agreed facts of the charges were read onto the public record in the courtroom.

As a result the Queensland Times cannot report the agreed acts of the prosecution case at this time.

Under Queensland legislation when no facts (or only fragments) are put on the public record the media must make an application to the court and then pay money to buy the agreed facts to be able to report to the community what occurred.

No other state charges money to read the agreed facts of record.

Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull told the court that police sought a jail penalty of six months for the assault.

“It is quite serious,” he said.

Sgt Turnbull said the disqualified driving charge was also “of concern” as the offence was committed when Stelling was subject to parole.

“What aggravates it is her history relating to motor vehicles,” Sgt Turnbull said.

“She has 10 previous disqualified driving matters. It is a dreadful traffic history.

“She continues to offend largely unabated. (There’s a) need to get the deterrence message through to her.”

Police sought a 12-month jail order, and with immediate eligibility to begin her parole application.

The court heard Stelling had already spent 175 days in custody.

Magistrate Andy Cridland noted that she has other matters yet to go before Ipswich District Court.

“Her actual involvement was a single strike with a piece of wood,” defence lawyer James Wallace said, apparently referring to the assault charge.

“Three to six months is appropriate.”

Noting her time already served in custody, Mr Wallace sought a suspended sentence citing “significant delays” by the parole board in processing parole applications.

“As at March were over 2000 unprocessed parole applications. Of which 1500 are outside the statutory limit,” he said.

Mr Wallace said Stelling had been engaging well and getting counselling from the Sisters Inside group.

He said her cycle of drug use began at the age of 15 with an older male leading into a series of “toxic drug using” relationships.

Mr Cridland said he’d been supplied with documents setting out the facts and the most serious charge had been reduced to common assault.

“You have 14 pages of criminal history and 10 pages of traffic history. It is absolutely appalling,” he said.

He warned that she was getting to the stage where she may be considered not eligible to ever have a driving licence.

Stelling was convicted and sentenced to 175 days jail for the assault with immediate parole.

She received nine months’ jail (concurrent) for driving when disqualified, which was immediately suspended for two years, and to lesser penalties on other charges.

She was disqualified from driving for four years.

DON’T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

Read more stories by Ross Irby here.