3 February 2023

No bail for burglar with long criminal history who took 'a wrong turn in life'

| Albert McKnight
young woman

Tayla Louise Ceeney, 25, has been told she will not be released on bail. Photo: Instagram.

A woman who took “a wrong turn in her life”, during which she committed a burglary and a dangerous driving offence, has been denied bail again.

A Great Wall dual-cab ute had been stolen from Bonner on 1 August, 2022, before it was spotted driving into an underground carpark on Oakden Street in Greenway, court documents say.

Closed-circuit television footage captured Tayla Louise Ceeney and a man getting out of the ute, then trying to open storage cages as well as the windows and doors of cars before being disturbed by a resident and driving away.

Police recognised Ceeney after watching the footage and arrested her in Dunlop three days later. The ute was found in Franklin the next month.

Other court documents say the year before, police had found two cars that had been in a head-on crash on the Monaro Highway about 5 am on 17 April, 2021.

READ ALSO Man already on bail remanded in custody over alleged dangerous driving

Ceeney and a man were picked up about 500 metres from the crash site and taken to hospital with injuries. She was later charged over driving one of the cars.

When Ceeney applied for bail for the second time in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (24 January), her lawyer, Kat Duffy from Andrew Byrnes Law Group, said she had taken “a wrong turn in her life”.

She had been exposed to homelessness, took to substance use and fell in with anti-social peers, which perpetuated the cycle of drug use, but retained her mother’s support.

While she has been in jail for 171 days so far, Ms Duffy said she had made “quite a productive use of her time in custody” as she had completed several courses.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the 25-year-old had “a very concerning and extensive criminal history” and had been on parole in NSW when she committed her offences in the ACT.

She had been on parole after being sentenced to 12 months’ jail in October 2021.

READ ALSO Serial crim who kicked door in during burglary told he is ‘getting too old for this’

Chief Magistrate Walker said Ceeney may be motivated to change her trajectory, but she was not satisfied that should be done at the expense of the risk to the community and refused to grant bail.

Ceeney had pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, dangerous driving, unlawfully possessing stolen property and failing to answer bail, but has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of riding or driving a motor vehicle without consent.

The last charge will be fought at a hearing on 13 March. The other charges were also adjourned to the same date.

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