Australian Olympic golden girl Chantelle Newbery has been convicted of stealing groceries from Woolworths after returning to her life of crime.
Diver Newbery, who won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, walked out of the supermarket in Toowoomba, Queensland, on July 28 last year without paying.
She breezed out of the store with a trolley full of shopping worth $383, the Toowoomba Chronicle reported, and later told police she had no food and no money to pay for it.
Newbery, 45, also pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving, SPER suspended, on December 5.
She was jailed for eight months but was released on immediate parole, with Magistrate Kay Phillipson saying: “You really need to turn things around.”
The magistrate added that the only reason Newbery, who won Olympic gold in the 10-metre platform diving event, wasn’t jailed was because she is caring for her 18-month-old niece.
The former sportswoman’s solicitor Alysha Jacobsen told the court that her client had turned to drugs after her divorce from fellow diver Robert Newbery, which was followed by the death of her new partner and her mother.
It’s not Newbery’s first run-in with the law.
The Olympic champion admitted to a string of drugs offences in 2014 but was not convicted after agreeing to attend a rehabilitation programme.
She told Channel 9’s A Current Affair at the time that she resorted to taking drugs around the time of her mother’s death 18 months earlier.
“I have experimented with a couple of things but I wouldn’t say I was a drug user,” Newbery said.
She said she had been suffering from chronic depression and had tried to take her own life on more than one occasion,
“There have been times in the past few weeks especially around the time of the court case I knew I was slipping into a place where I was a little bit worried and I did actually go to a GP and get another referral to get help again,” she said.
Newbery also revealed that she was facing homelessness.
In 2018, Newbery was arrested after twice failing to front court.
She pleaded guilty to six counts of stealing, along with two counts of failing to appear and one count of contravening direction or requirement of police, and was handed a three-month suspended sentence.
In 2021, she was caught with an ice pipe when stopped for shoplifting groceries and bed sheets from Woolworths and Target.
She pleaded guilty to stealing and possessing drug utensils.
During that case, the court heard that Newbery had previously been sentenced to a four-month intensive correction order for stealing groceries – only to go shoplifting again days later.
Newbery became the first Australian Olympic diver to win gold in more than 80 years at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
She also won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 (1m Springboard) and Melbourne in 2006 (10m Platform Synchro).
She received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005.
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