Aboriginal woman jailed for unpaid fines after call to police

An Indigenous woman in Perth has been jailed for 14 days for unpaid fines, 10 months after a coronial inquiry recommended the Western Australian government abolish the practice.

The 35-year-old Noongar woman was arrested on a warrant of commitment at the home she shares with her five children in Joondalup on Wednesday morning, after a call was made to police about a family member who had visited the house earlier and who was reported to have become violent.

When police arrived they performed a background check on the woman and found an outstanding warrant for $3,900 in unpaid fines, dating back to a dispute over an unregistered dog in 2012.

She was taken to Melaleuca women’s prison and told that unless she could pay the outstanding fine she would have to cut it out at a rate of $250 a day. The electricity at her house, where her children remain under the care of an aunt, has since been cut off.


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