Shannon Tonkin, 4 October 2015

Chocolate bars, a bottle of baby oil and a portable EFTPOS machine were the weapons of choice for a Fairy Meadow woman who carried out a bizarre assault-cum-robbery at a Wollongong convenience store at the start of the year.

Police believe Deanna Lisa Findell, 37, was under the influence of illicit drugs when she wandered into the Coles Express service station on Corrimal Street just before midnight on January 22 and began abusing the female shop attendant.

Findell yelled at the woman, called her men’s names, then asked her if she was getting dressed up and going to the methadone clinic before threatening to “f—k [her] up”.

The victim walked over to the phone to call police, prompting Findell to pick up a handful of Twirl chocolate bars and start throwing them at the woman.

Frightened by Findell’s erratic behaviour, the woman hid behind a door and dialed triple zero.

The victim remained hiding behind the door as Findell continued yelling at her, this time demanding the cash till.

The woman later told police she feared Findell would get into the locked console area and rob her.

However, when the victim did not hand over any money, Findell hurled more chocolate bars at the woman, followed by the baby oil, soccer cards, muesli bars and the EFTPOS terminal.

Findell yelled at the victim “I’m gonna f—k you up, you fag, you fat slut”, followed by “I have razor blades and I’m gonna cut ya”.

She then let out a final yell and exited the store, police documents before Port Kembla Local Court said.

She was found by police a short distance away at the intersection of Corrimal and Stewart streets, in possession of three Twirl bars and a small bag of cannabis, which fell from her bra as she was being searched.

Findell was arrested at the scene and taken to Wollongong Police Station where she refused the opportunity to speak to an Aboriginal Legal Aid lawyer or have access to a support person.

Police said she was not interviewed due to her appearing to be “under the influence of an illicit substance”.

Findell was charged with robbery but eventually pleaded guilty in court to the lesser charge of demanding property with menace.

The 38-year-old was released on bail and ordered to reappear in court on October 23 for sentencing.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ behind bars.

Extracted in full from the Illawarra Mercury.