Rockhampton courthouse.
Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton courthouse. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK221012ccourt5

Mum of 3 goes to jail after pleading guilty to 19 charges

A YOUNG mother of three has been sent to jail, after pleading guilty yesterday in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to a string of offences.

Stephanie Faye Richards, 23, had never held a driver's licence but already had a page of traffic offences, including a four-year suspension, when she appeared before Magistrate Jeff Clarke on 19 charges.

"When you did have a learner's permit you drove with unrestrained children in the car and without the direct supervision of an open licence holder," Mr Clarke said.

Richards' charges included unlawful use of a car, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, stealing fuel, failure to stop, unlicensed driving and breach of bail.

Mr Clarke recounted how she took her mother's car in September this year and drove to Emerald, Townsville and Cairns while stealing fuel and "doing drive-offs" along the way.

On September 20, in Bowen, a police check revealed she was unlicensed and the car she was driving was stolen.

Richards pulled away and drove off but police didn't persist with a pursuit.

Two nights later, at just after 3am, Richards was driving through Rockhampton city centre, still in the stolen car and without registration plates.

Driving along East St, she almost hit a police car but when police activated their lights Richards sped up, drove through a red light and had to brake heavily to avoid a collision at a roundabout.

In sentencing Richards, Mr Clarke took into account her guilty plea and her age but said a prison sentence must be imposed due to the serious nature of the charges.

He sentenced her to 12 months in prison for the most serious charge of failure to stop with other sentences to be served concurrently.

She will be released on 10 months' parole on January 7, 2019.



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