Banned: Woman ‘terrorises’ island with hammer
A Russell Island woman who "terrorised" and held her community "to ransom" while variously armed with a hammer and garden paling has been jailed and temporarily banned from the island.
Determined to "do whatever it takes" to be released from jail, Carla Mary Allende, 41, pleaded guilty to a host of offences including going armed so as to cause fear, commit public nuisance, enter premises to commit indictable offence, possessing dangerous drugs and more when she appeared at Cleveland Magistrates Court today via video link.
But her efforts would be for nought when Magistrate Deborah Vasta sentenced her to six months' jail with an April 6 parole date, citing her violent behaviour as too great a threat for the tight-knit community with "only four police officers".
The court heard at around 3.15pm on October 15 Allende smashed windows and a television with a garden paling at the property of a man from whom she had allegedly suffered a "perceived slight".
On January 8 the defendant would commit "similar offending" at another residence, this time armed with a hammer, where a shocked woman, unknown to the defendant, would bear witness.
Allende was also found in possession of methamphetamine, a glass pipe and tubing for smoking drugs on November 11, and on February 7 was found in possession of an electric and acoustic guitar together with two laptops, all suspected of being stolen.
But it was her behaviour while armed in the community which most concerned the court.
A police prosecutor tendered CCTV imagery of Allende walking around armed while "holding the community to ransom".
A probation officer further revealed to the court the defendant had not attended a single appointment after being placed on probation on February 8.
Defence solicitor Lyle Parker said his client had last offended in 2018, wanted to stay in the community which had been her home for the last 10 years, and was willing to comply with any conditions imposed by the court.
The defendant herself urged the magistrate to allow her to remain on the island, cited numerous management positions she had held in the community and acknowledged her "actions were obviously wrong".
However, Magistrate Deborah Vasta stated much of what the defendant had claimed did not ring true and was suspected to be driven by an addiction to the drug ice.
"It is a very dangerous situation," Magistrate Vasta said.
"I don't think you appreciate how serious your offending is.
"There are limited resources on the island with only four police officers.
"You act as if you are entitled … and I think ice is probably behind some of this."
The magistrate further told the court that while Allende may not have intended to do so, her behaviour had the effect of "terrorising" the Russell Island community.
In addition to her prison sentence, Allende was ordered to complete 60 hours of community service and was banned from Russell Island until she could prove she owns property at the location.
A conviction was recorded.
Originally published as Banned: Woman 'terrorises' island with hammer