'Aggressive person' in car coerced woman to drive
A SOUTH Burnett woman was warned she had to comply with the law like everybody else after facing court for unlicensed driving for the sixth time on Monday.
Police prosecutor Pepe Gangemi told Kingaroy Magistrates Court that Jessica Dodds was intercepted driving at Nanango just after midnight on June 3 in a Toyota Camry sedan.
The 33-year-old woman failed to advise police that she had never held a licence, and she was charged with driving without a licence for the sixth time.
Magistrate Louisa Pink said the defendant didn't come to court when she was scheduled to show up and a warrant was issued, however she cancelled the warrant as Dodds was present for Monday's sentencing.
Mark Oliver represented the defendant and told the court Dodds had an "aggressive person" in the vehicle with her at the time of the offence.
"When she was pulled up she didn't notify the police officer," Mr Oliver said.
"Unfortunately that person had a licence. They could have driven but choose not to and instructed her to drive."
Mr Oliver told the court Ms Dodds was unemployed, suffered from PTSD and had previously broken her neck.
He also said she suffered from anxiety and depression and she should have informed the police officer about her situation at the time.
Ms Pink said she took into account the facts from the prosecutor and submissions made on her behalf as well as her mental health issues, however she had an issue with Dodds' previous driving record.
"The problem is Ms Dodds, that you have been before the courts six times previously for driving with no licence," Ms Pink said.
"You have to comply with the law like everyone else.
"Everyone else here who has a driver's licence has gone through the process.
"If you don't go through the process, you cannot drive."
The magistrate accepted that it seemed like Dodds was coerced into driving.
Ms Pink convicted the defendant and handed down a $600 fine.
She also disqualified her from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for a period of four months.