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St. John's woman sentenced for two attacks against same victim in one day

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- SaltWire File Photo

Jenelle Franey also stole from shop across from courthouse, 30 minutes after court appearance on a prior shoplifting charge

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

A 34-year-old St. John's woman pleaded guilty to a host of charges in provincial court Monday, including two separate assaults of another woman that happened hours apart.

Jenelle Franey also admitted guilt to a number of shoplifting charges. Among them was a charge laid after she stole a sweater from a store directly across the street from court, within half an hour after appearing before a judge on a prior theft charge.

Having made a plea deal with the Crown in exchange for the withdrawal of a handful of charges, Franey was sentenced to six months in custody, with 86 days credit given for the time she has spent in custody since the end of January. Judge David Orr ordered Franey to serve the remainder of her sentence on weekends, beginning Friday.

The RNC responded to a report of an assault in progress on July 12, 2017 at the Esso station on Andersen Avenue, just before 4:30 p.m. An employee of the service station said she had been outside the store when a woman approached her, calling her names, smacking her, pulling her hair, kicking her and throwing her cellphone to the ground, breaking it. She was left with a bloodied lip and an abrasion near her eye.

Police viewed surveillance camera footage of the attack, and identified Franey as the suspect.

About two hours later, the RNC received another call reporting a fight outside Freshwater Dentistry, near the gas station. The victim - the same woman as earlier - was eventually located, and noted to be heavily bleeding from her mouth. She told police her attacker was once again Franey, and Franey had put her finger in the side of the woman's mouth and pulled, ripping her cheek. The woman was taken to hospital by ambulance and required six stitches.

When police arrested Franey, she told them, "You arrested the wrong person," and said "I f---ed her up. I mangled her."

Franey entered guilty pleas to charges of assault causing bodily harm, assault and mischief by damaging property, laid as a result of the attacks.

Her shoplifting charges involved thefts of clothing from Victoria's Secret, two bags of coffee from Tim Hortons — which were recovered after she threw them on the ground outside the restaurant — a milkshake and cookies from Circle K, and two hair straighteners from Dominion.

There was also a theft from Outfitters on Water Street on Jan. 30, half an hour after Franey had made a court appearance in Atlantic Place, across the street. Franey asked to try on a $135 merino sweater, and left wearing it under her coat. Police identified her on surveillance camera footage.

Franey's lawyer, Rhona Buchan, told the court her client has no prior criminal record, and her charges had been the result of an addiction-fuelled crime spree. Franey has been participating in addictions counselling since being incarcerated, Buchan said, and has family support in continuing treatment once she's released.

In sentencing Franey, Orr told her, "I think this is one of those situations where an intermittent sentence is well suited," since weekly contact with corrections staff could help keep her on the right path.

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