Woman spent nine hours in jail with dead inmate

A NEWCASTLE woman has received counselling after she was locked in a minimum security section of a jail with a dead inmate for nine hours, Newcastle Local Court heard yesterday.

A Corrective Services NSW spokesman confirmed the incident occurred on June 16 in Emu Plains women’s jail almost three weeks after Katrina Young, of Windale, was transferred there.

Young, who was jailed yesterday for a number of thefts and frauds, received counselling after spending nine hours with the deceased, her solicitor Iain Bruce said.

The inmate’s death was not suspicious and occurred overnight in a common area of the minimum security section, which could explain why Young was forced to spend so much time with the deceased, the department spokesman said.

Young, 37, was arrested and remanded on May 29 and spent a week in Silverwater women’s jail before she was transferred to Emu Plains.

Magistrate Ian Cheetham noted the incident when sentencing her yesterday to 13 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight months.

Young started using drugs at age 12 and has been addicted to amphetamines for most of her adult life, Mr Cheetham said.

She has battled family and grief issues as well as the trauma of spending nine hours with the deceased, the court heard.

Young has been jailed a number of times over the past decade, the longest being a sentence of three years with a non-parole period of 18 months for drug dealing in 2006.

She pleaded guilty to 12 charges including stealing, shoplifting and providing false details.

She stole mostly electronic goods from stores in Kotara, Rutherford, Bennetts Green and Sydney between November last year and May this year, court documents stated.

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