Ballarat police arrest alleged booze thief

Jacinta Kennett

Jacinta Kennett

An alleged booze thief who menaced retailers in Ballarat’s CBD will remain behind bars for at least six weeks.

Jacinta Kennett applied for bail in the Ballarat Magistrates Court this week but it was refused by Magistrate Gregory Robinson due to the likelihood of her re-offending.

Police allege Kennett repeatedly stole alcohol from Dan Murphy’s and Ryan’s IGA in Ballarat in April and May, making off with bottles of rum, chardonnay, Riesling and Russian vodka.

File image.

File image.

At one point Kennett allegedly said “police won’t catch me and I won’t stop stealing grog” when she was confronted by staff at Dan Murphy's.

Warrants were issued before she was arrested by police on Little Bridge Street last week.

She is now facing multiple charges including contravening a community corrections order.

Police prosecutor Simon Pearce opposed Kennett’s bail application, saying she has a heavy alcohol addiction and was abusive when drunk.

The court was told the mother of two had abused alcohol since the age of 13.

In pushing for her release, Kennett’s defence lawyer argued it would benefit the Ballarat community if she was able to undertake a rehabilitation program.

However, Magistrate Gregory Robinson rejected this, saying the courts had given her a chance to get her drinking under control when she was placed on a CCO.

“The system isn’t trying to quickly put people into jail,” he said.

“She’s had numerous opportunities to be in the community while seeking treatment and they have led to quite recidivist offending.”

Kennett will return to court on July 31.