While the rising price of fuel is enough to make even the most sane person momentarily lose their mind, a Fernhill mother has confessed to having more than a temporary lapse in good judgement when she stole petrol from the same service station on three occasions.

Sherrie Anne Smith, 30, pleaded guilty in Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday to three counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception stemming from ‘pump and run’ offences at the Total Fuel Service Station at Bellambi during the course of a week in June.

Police documents tendered to the court said Smith pulled into the Rothery Street fuel outlet around 9.30am on June 18 and filled up her Holden Comodore sedan with $70.26 worth of petrol before driving off without paying.

She did the same thing on June 20 at 2.40am, and again on June 24 at 6.30am, making off with a combined $91.26 in the two transactions.

Smith also pleaded guilty to a charge of shoplifting over the theft of a razor from Woolworths at Fairy Meadow on July 4.

The court heard Smith had never been in trouble with the law before, however her lawyer, John Gallagher, attributed her offending to a combination of poor mental health and bad influences in her social life.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart ordered Smith to repay the outstanding sums – $161.52 to Total Fuel and $35 to Woolworths – and adjourned the matter to September 1 for sentence.

Extracted in full from: illawarramercury.com.au