What triggered woman’s dramatic descent into addiction


A "toxic" relationship with an ex-partner began a two-year descent into homelessness and drug-addiction for a 25-year-old Logan woman, who pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to 25 offences.

Springwood woman Ashley Wigney appeared in Beenleigh Magistrates Court via videolink from Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre, where she has been remanded in custody since her arrest in late December last year, a total of 64 days.

Her offences included multiple counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, breaching a bail condition and failing to appear for court dates; as well as charges of possessing drugs and drug utensils, possessing a knife in public, not having proper control of a vehicle, failing to comply with the duties of a driver involved in a crash, possessing tainted property and breaching a probation order.

Springwood woman Ashley Wigney, 25. Picture: Facebook
Springwood woman Ashley Wigney, 25. Picture: Facebook

The bulk of the offences were committed in 2020, although she began breaching her 12-month probation order imposed on June 25, 2019 almost immediately.

The court heard her most serious offence was driving a stolen vehicle into a parked car and fleeing the scene, leaving behind $7000 worth of damage.

Her drug offending related to the use of and addiction to cannabis and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), commonly known as fantasy.

Defence lawyer Mollie Roper told the court her client had been in a "toxic" relationship in the five years leading up to her arrest.

"It was in that context she was introduced to the use of drugs, which is the crux of the issue for her, that and associating with negative peer groups," Ms Roper said.

"They separated last year and this led to significant instability and bouts of homelessness for her.

"She was heavily using drugs at the time and didn't have a solid grounding to address her issues.

"There was a breakdown in the relationship with her family while she was using, the family didn't want much to do with her.

However, Ms Roper said that since Wigney's remand she has been in "regular contact" with her mother, who she will reside with upon her release.

Magistrate Rodney Kilner said although Wigney's offences weren't serious enough to impose jail time, he fretted over her ability to comply with community-based orders, due to her previous noncompliance with a probation order and multiple breaches of bail.

"I'll give you one final chance," Mr Kilner said.

He sentenced her to 18 months' probation, meaning she will be released from custody.

She was also given a small fine for breaching the probation order and some traffic matters.

Originally published as What triggered woman's dramatic descent into addiction