Despite pleading guilty, former Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher was not convicted by the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday over second shoplifting charges. Magistrate Paul Wilson said a conviction is not proper due to lack of previous shoplifting convictions on the 49-year-old former lawmaker.
Mr Wilson added Ms Fisher would likely not commit the same misdemeanor which happened during a period of stress as she battled depression.
Ms Fisher was accused of pilfering $73.62 worth of groceries from a Coles supermarket on June 16. It was the second shoplifting case for Ms Fisher who faced similar accusations in September 2011, but was acquitted.
However, as a result of the scandal, she resigned as senator on Aug 14.
Ms Fisher had flu and was grappling with depression and bipolar disorder when she entered on June 16 the Coles supermarket in West Lakes before 5 p.m. She placed the items inside a shopping bag and a backpack and claimed at the checkout counter that the items were purchased from another store. The shoplifted good were oranges, cherries, almonds, fish and laxatives.
The shop security stopped her outside the grocery and called the police. The former senator cooperated with the investigation. She was taking the anti-depression drug Pristiq and lithium, plus cold and flu medicine when the incident occurred.
"I am very relieved it's finally all over and I can now focus on dealing with my health issues. I can do so without the pressures of public life and also without the emotional toil, if you like, of the financial consequences I have suffered over the past couple of years," The Australian quoted Ms Fisher.
Ms Fisher placed a 24-month $800 good behaviour bond to assure the court that she is taking the proper road to mental health recovery. Mr Wilson said that if the former senator would break the conditions of her bond, she would go back to court for conviction and penalty.
"I'm confident you will be of good behaviour, but you are still unwell - and you're the first to recognise that. The court does not want to see you back here again - do you understand?" The Herald Sun quoted Mr Wilson.
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