A young Illawarra woman who cared for her boyfriend after he was paralysed in a trampolining accident in 2015 has admitted breaking into his house earlier this year and stealing two cars following the breakdown of their relationship.
Casey Christensen was just 17 when her then-boyfriend, Frankie Kuzba, broke his neck in four places after diving into a foam pit at Warrawong indoor trampolining centre Flip Out in April 2015.
Frankie was paralysed from the neck down and remained in hospital for months, during which time Christensen organised a GoFundMe page to help the Kuzba family with medical and future living costs.
On the page, which raised $6240, Christensen said her then-19-year-old boyfriend needed around-the-clock care due to his injuries and she had given up her job to look after him "full time".
"This is a massive fight for Frankie and we want to give him everything that we can," she wrote at the time.
However, documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court last week reveal the relationship between the pair deteriorated after a time and they broke up in early 2018.
Christensen began abusing drugs and alcohol and became increasingly out of control, soon turning to crime to support her addiction to methamphetamines.
Court documents said Christensen was caught stealing $870 worth of clothing from Rebel Sports at Warrawong in September, while in early December, she almost died when the stolen car she was riding in hit a parked vehicle at Dapto and burst into flames.
The driver of the car dragged Christensen to safety and alerted neighbours before fleeing the scene when help arrived.
Christensen was flown to hospital with leg and abdominal injuries.
In a post on her Facebook page two weeks later, Christensen said she underwent an eight-hour surgery and was in a coma for three days before waking up to "22 staples holding my tummy together from my chest right down to my pelvic area".
Revealing she had also been in a road bike accident less than a month earlier, Christensen joked that she may not have many lives left to live and urged people to hug their loved ones and not "lose track of what really matters" in life.
However, it appears the 21-year-old ignored that message just a month later when she repeatedly punched her mother in the face during an argument at her house.
The same day, Christensen gained access to the Kuzba family home and stole a car belonging to her ex-boyfriend's mother. She sent Mrs Kuzba a text message asking her not to report the theft, saying she had urgently needed the vehicle and would bring it back as soon as possible.
But the car was badly damaged when Christensen eventually returned it around lunchtime, prompting Frankie to dob on his ex-girlfriend to police.
Christensen was arrested five days later on January 15 and charged with motor vehicle theft. Interviewing officers said Christensen told them she felt she had a right to take the car without permission "as she had done so much for the Kuzba family".
She was subsequently released on bail.
On February 1, Christensen was involved in a pursuit with police after she was detected driving a green Ford Laser that had false number plates attached to it.
She managed to avoid capture at the time, dumping the vehicle at the George Hanley Drive roundabout at North Wollongong, however made the mistake of leaving her wallet and identification in the car - along with 0.53 grams of ice.
Three days later, Christensen again let herself into the Kuzba's house under the cover of darkness, this time stealing the keys to both their cars and Mr Kuzba's wallet.
She drove off in the family's Tarago but dumped it near Albion Park when it started having engine troubles. She contacted a friend who drove her back to the house, where she took the second vehicle, a Mitsubishi Triton, from the garage.
Christensen then used Mr Kuzba's credit card to make six different purchases at three local service station.
A seventh attempt failed and Mr Kuzba was notified via text the card had declined. He then discovered the card was missing and reported the theft to police.
Officers reviewed CCTV footage from one of the service stations and identified Christensen as the culprit.
She was arrested and charged with more car theft offences, as well as dishonesty, break-in and drug possession charges.
In court on Friday, Magistrate Roger Clisdell accepted that Christensen had had a dysfunctional upbringing and been through "a large amount of trauma in her short life", prompting her to turn to drugs.
"She went on an escapade of criminality as a result of her becoming addicted to methamphetamine," he said.
"But her offending must be looked at in the context of her life."
Magistrate Clisdell spared Christensen further jail time on sentence, taking into account the fact she'd already spent five months behind bars.
She will instead serve a 12-month intensive corrections order in the community.