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Law student jailed for stealing $19k of uni books to fund studies
05 August 2011
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A Singaporean student studying law in Tasmania has been jailed after resorting to stealing textbooks in order to fund her studies.

It's no secret that a legal education is far from cheap and law students have been known to resort to unusual methods to pay their way: serving drinks with their backsides out and topless dancing being obvious examples. But whilst most manage (just about) to keep on the right side of the law, 28 year-old Siew Hoon Yung chose to steal text books from her uni's bookstore to keep herself afloat.

It's a rather sad story. Yung's father, who was supporting her through her studies at the University of Tasmania, died leaving her unable to pay her living expenses and tuition fees, according to a report in The Mercury. To add to her misery, she separated from her husband and had been refused a loan by her uncle. So Yung took advantage of lax security at the uni bookstore, to smuggle out textbooks in her bag. She's believed to have stolen 159 books in total - worth nearly $19k - which she sold under a variety of pseudonyms until the police caught up with her.

    Yung preparing for another trip to the uni bookstore (how it might have looked)

Despite her difficult personal circumstances, Yung's previous convictions for stealing food and cosmetics persuaded the Hobart Supreme Court judge to take a hard line. He sentenced her to two months in jail and ordered her to reimburse the uni bookstore. Although where she'll get the money from given that her law dream must now be in tatters is anyone's guess.



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