Woman in jail after night out

POLICE watched in disbelief as six young wom-en got out of a stolen Ford Laser after it crashed at Coraki during a police pursuit earlier this year.

Police believe none had been wearing seatbelts.

It was revealed in the Lismore Local Court that disqualified driver Renee Joyce Violet Drew, 22, of Goonellabah, drank two casks of wine before driving the car, which had been stolen some days before from a Lismore car park.

Drew pleaded guilty this week to four charges: Taking and driving a motor vehicle on January 4; driving disqualified; refusing a breath analysis; and driving passengers with no seatbelts.

Police facts stated that police in Coraki received a radio message at 10.40pm on February 13 to keep a look-out for Drew because she was believed to be drunk and driving unlicensed.

Police later saw Drew driving the stolen Ford at 65km/h in a 50km/h speed zone in Queen Elizabeth Drive, through a ‘give way’ intersection, and followed her in an unmarked car.

The Ford headed along Union Street at speed and when police rounded a sharp bend into Kardinia Street, officers saw the Ford facing back towards them after Drew apparently lost control and left the road.

When Drew got out of the car another fivewomen also tumbled out, including four who had been seated in the rear of the small sedan.

Drew told police she drank ‘two casks of wine between 9pm and 10pm’ before driving.

When asked to submit to a breath analysis Drew told the officers: “I won’t blow in it.”

It was also revealed she had been disqualified from driving until August 2016.

Prosecutor Sgt Peter Costin-Neilsen said police strenuously opposed Drew’s bail application because she was already on parole at the time.

“It was a night out with the girls. She didn’t know the car was stolen,” defence lawyer John Hennessy said.

He acknowledged his client had received a sentence last year for a drink-driving offence.

“She is a young lady who needs help. She has not been in trouble for a year, but she has been inside,” he said.

“Since moving away from Coraki to Goonellabah she has been good.”

Magistrate Robyn Denes said Drew was on parole for a previous offence of driving while disqualified.

“I’ve lost count of how many times she has been on driving when disqualified charges,” Ms Denes said.

“She has a long history of this. Being on parole had no effect.”

Ms Denes refused bail. She said there was no bail condition she could impose that would ensure Drew did not continue offending.

The case was adjourned to March 15.



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