ACT News

Former Canberra Capital turned drug addict on road to rehabilitation

Drugs took hold of Janna Maree Sladic's life after a car crash ended a promising sporting career.

The former Canberra Capitals reserve fell into drug use and crime, and at one point dated notorious criminal Matthew Massey.

Janna Maree Sladic
Janna Maree Sladic Photo: Melissa Adams

But after almost 10 years and 37 convictions, Sladic has convinced the Canberra courts that she is on the road to rehabilitation.

Sladic appeared for sentence in both the ACT Supreme and Magistrates Court on Tuesday on a range of charges, including armed robbery, trespass, burglary, and escaping arrest.

Janna Sladic earlier this month. She was found by family about 1.30am on Friday at a west Belconnen home.
Janna Sladic earlier this month. She was found by family about 1.30am on Friday at a west Belconnen home. Photo: Melissa Adams

The courts heard she had been drug free for 15 months, had completed residential rehabilitation courses, and had established a pro-social life in Brisbane.

Sladic was sentenced to jail terms for her crimes, which were fully suspended upon entering two-year good behaviour orders.

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The court heard Sladic first abused prescription drugs after a car crash in 2005, before turning to heroin, and held up a Hawker fast food restaurant at knifepoint in 2011.

She was sentenced to a suspended jail term in December 2012 for the heist.

Janna Maree Sladic during her time at the Canberra Capitals.
Janna Maree Sladic during her time at the Canberra Capitals. 

But Sladic was back in custody in August 2013 when police found her hiding in the laundry of a Hawker home.

She later claimed she had sought refuge in the home after being chased.

But Sladic pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court to burglary, trespass, intent to steal, escape from arrest or custody, and driving while unlicensed.

The pleas put her in breach of her suspended jail sentence for the KFC raid.

In February 2014, Justice Richard Refshauge again deferred her sentence to give her another chance at reform.

Sladic entered and dropped out of rehabilitation in Queensland, but then completed a four month program at a Hunter Valley centre.

The court heard she had found stable employment as the singer of an "upmarket jazz band" named Majestic.

Sladic appeared before Justice Refshauge on Tuesday for resentence over the armed robbery and was handed a three year jail-term, backdated to take into account time spent in custody.

The judge immediately suspended the outstanding two-years upon Sladic signing a good behaviour order, which included obligations to undergo supervision, counselling, and drug testing.

"You've made significant progress but there has been some backsliding," the judge said.

"You now know it's not all plain sailing. You need to remain committed and focused."

Magistrate Peter Dingwall followed the course set by the higher court in acknowledgment of Sladic's efforts to conquer her addiction.

Mr Dingwall sentenced Sladic to 11 months jail, backdated to take into account time spent in custody, with the remainder suspended upon entering a two-year good behaviour order.