'Toxic' boyfriend led woman astray

Last updated 19:11 25/09/2012

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A woman who did a "Bonnie and Clyde" with her boyfriend was sentenced to community work after spending seven weeks in custody.

Mykayla Brooke Turnbull, 24, was sentenced on three charges of unlawfully getting into a car, four charges of theft of petrol, assaulting a police officer with a blunt instrument and trying to use a stolen cheque.

In the Christchurch District Court, defence counsel Paul Norcross said Turnbull had no previous convictions, and her offending was a result of abuse of alcohol and drugs and a poor choice of boyfriend.

Turnbull was the passenger in a stolen car her boyfriend was driving that damaged five police cars, fences and a power pole.

He was sentenced to 20 months' prison and disqualified from driving for two and a half years.

Judge Robert Murfitt said Turnbull had a short-term crime spree from November 2011 when she stole petrol, unlawfully took cars and assaulted a police officer.

He said the offending lasted a month while she was involved in a toxic relationship with her boyfriend, who led her into a destructive lifestyle of methamphetamine and prostitution to support their habit.

He said the car chases on a night in December were a pathetic imitation of Bonnie and Clyde.

Last month, Turnbull failed in an attempt to present an elderly couple's false cheque.

The couple involved had lived through the war years and would have been devastated if she had stolen their money, Judge Murfitt said.

He sentenced her to 100 hours' community work and ordered reparation payments to four petrol stations where she had stolen fuel.

He said some of the community work hours could be converted to work training, and he hoped Turnbull could now lead a crime-free, productive and enjoyable life.

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- The Press