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Olympic gold medallist who fell into ice addiction and became a serial thief is jailed

The sad downward spiral of Olympic golden girl Chantelle Newbery has ended with a jail term after she was busted with an ice pipe and repeatedly stole groceries from Woolworths.  

The mother-of-two, 44, who won gold in the 10-metre platform diving at the Athens Olympics in 2004, was arrested in Brisbane this week after her latest string of thefts.   

Newbery told Cleveland Magistrates Court on Wednesday she had been doing well before ‘stuffing up’ by stealing $113 worth of groceries from Capalaba Woolworths and $150 bed sheets from Target.

She was also caught with an ice pipe hidden in a sunglasses case.

After retiring from diving in 2008, Chantelle Newbery’s fall from grace has been dramatic

Newbury pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing and a single charge of possessing drug utensils. 

Magistrate Deborah Vasta told the one time Order of Australia winner she needed to be accountable for her offending, according to The Courier Mail.

The court heard Newbery was sentenced to a four-month intensive correction order for stealing groceries on November 1 – but reoffended just over a week later.  

Prosecutors told the court Newbery was a serial thief – and that her crimes were often premeditated. 

The court heard Newbery had previously stolen items at other locations including Carina Heights, Woolloongabba, Ormiston, Robina Town Centre, Carindale and Helensvale.

For a string of previous offences, Newbery was handed community service and more recently an intensive corrections order, with prosecutors this time pushing for a jail term, despite the former Olympian insisting she was ‘doing well’.  

‘She told the almost exact same story last week,’ a police prosecutor said.

‘She is not complying with any court orders … and she is not exculpated in law through mental health.’

Newbery’s lawyer, Tanya Lacy, said her client was ‘trying really hard’ to break free of her ice addiction and was ‘glad’ she was apprehended by security staff this week. 

‘They jumped on me so damn quick … I stuffed up everything,’ she said.

Magistrate Vasta said a prison term was appropriate after Newbery was sentenced only last week for earlier stealing offences.  

She was sentenced to six months in prison with a parole date of December 10.  

Newbery won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the 10 metre platform diving event

Newbery won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the 10 metre platform diving event

In June last year, Newbery appeared before Queensland’s Cleveland Magistrates Court on theft and drugs charges. 

The charges came just months after the former golden girl turned to the Salvation Army for help as she mourned the tragic deaths of her partner and a close friend.

The charges included stealing, possession property suspected of being used in a drug offence and possession of drug utensils.

According to court documents, Newbery stole groceries from a local IGA supermarket on April 26, Redlands Community News reported.

The mother-of-two was then found in possession of drug paraphernalia and utensils, including a pipe at her Redland Bay home on May 20. 

Tragically Newbery’s partner Tim Walsh died in 2019 after the pair had dated for 18 months. 

‘No words.. Just loss.. Sadness.. Devastation and many tears… I love you Tim,’ she wrote on Facebook.

Newbery was with Tim Walsh (pictured together) for 18 months before his death in 2019

Newbery was with Tim Walsh (pictured together) for 18 months before his death in 2019

‘He was one of my besties for five years until we eventually switched from friends to lovers.. we didn’t have a great start.

‘In fact we both fought hard (and each other) and persevered more than most would to stay in a relationship that seemed doomed… there were sparks flying that’s for sure! We eventually found our wings and we did take off.

‘My unit feels empty and lonely without him.’

At the time, Newbery was also mourning the death of close friend Jason Guise, whose body was found in a sewage holding tank in Brisbane in last May. 

‘Nooo, please don’t be dead,’ Newbery posted at the time, along with a photo of the pair.

‘I don’t believe you are dead Jason. F*** call me now. Tell everyone they are wrong! Love ya mate. Please be OK.’

Newbery fell into a deep depression as a result.

‘Picking myself up after the cyclone of 2019,’ Newbery’s Instagram profile stated at the time.

Her social media accounts are filled with photos of her late partner, her sons Jet and Ryder, along with her new partner Luke, who she said was helping her get through testing times. 

‘Thank you Luke… for helping me get through this difficult time.. for being patient while I put my brave pants back on and start living back in the real world. You are pretty special,’ Newbery wrote.

Newbery, a mother of two, has endured plenty of hardship in recent years as she battled drug addiction

Newbery, a mother of two, has endured plenty of hardship in recent years as she battled drug addiction

Newbery also mourned the death of close friend Jason Guise (pictured together)

Newbery also mourned the death of close friend Jason Guise (pictured together) 

Newbery became the first Australian diver to win an Olympic medal in 80 years when she won gold in the 10 metre platform at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

She also won two gold and three silver medals at the 1998 and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

She was later awarded an OAM and honoured in the Australian Institute of Sports Awards, ‘Best of the Best’.

Newbery’s struggles began months after her third Olympics in Beijing in 2008, where she failed to recapture her previous success.

She told Woman’s Day magazine in 2009 she had admitted herself to a psychiatric hospital for chronic depression.

She also attempted to take her own life twice.

On A Current Affair in 2014, Newbery spoke of her struggles to be a good mother to her children after her marriage to fellow diving champion Robert Newbery broke down.

Chantelle Newbery dives for gold in 2004 to become first Australian diver to win an Olympic medal in 80 years

Chantelle Newbery dives for gold in 2004 to become first Australian diver to win an Olympic medal in 80 years

Chantelle Newbery’s diving career 

Diver Chantelle Newbery burst onto the international scene as a 20-year-old at the 1998 world titles in Perth, where she won bronze in the 3m springboard.

Chantelle Newbery on the dais after winning gold at the 2004 Olympics

Chantelle Newbery on the dais after winning gold at the 2004 Olympics 

She competed at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur later that year, where she won gold in the 1m springboard and silver in the 3m springboard.

Newbery competed at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney where she just missed out on a medal in the synchronised 3m springboard event.

She missed the 2002 Commonwealth Games with the birth of her first son.

In 2004, she became the first Australian diver to win an Olympic medal in 80 years when she won gold in the 10 metre platform at the Olympics in Athens.

In 2005, she was awarded an OAM and and became the 22nd athlete to be honoured in the Australian Institute of Sports Awards, ‘Best of the Best’.

Success continued with a gold and two silvers at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne before giving birth to her second son later that year.

Newbery retired from diving after her third Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, where she failed to medal.

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