News

Hervey Bay woman gets parole for death threats and extortion

GUILTY PLEA: Josephine Smallwood fronts the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court charged with extortion.
GUILTY PLEA: Josephine Smallwood fronts the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court charged with extortion. Brendan Bufi

A HERVEY Bay woman, who threatened to kill a young man if his mother didn't pay her $300, has been allowed immediate parole.

Josephine Margery Smallwood, 32, pleaded guilty in the Hervey Bay District Court to extortion.

The court heard the victim's 21-year-old son was staying at a friend's house when Smallwood and her partner took his mobile phone and began texting his mother.

While the mother originally thought it was her son asking for money she became worried after noticing a difference in the grammar being used and the fact that she had been referred to as "mummy" in the texts.

Documents before the court state that once Smallwood was caught out, the messages took on an increasingly threatening tone, and carried warnings that the woman's son would be hurt and even killed if she didn't comply.

One message indicated the son had already been "punched in the face and was crying" while another said "mum, trust me, they are dealers... I had to show them where you lived".

When the woman phoned police they arranged for her to deliver the money to the letterbox of the requested address under surveillance.

Smallwood was nearby in her car with the mobile phone on her lap.

Judge Kiernan Dorney accepted that while the victim's son was never in real danger of being hurt, she wasn't to know and the experience must have been "terrifying".

Smallwood was sentenced to two years jail but released the same day on strict reporting conditions.

Topics:  death threats, editors picks, extortion, hervey bay, prison



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