A woman who had not held a driving licence since 1994 will have to wait another year at least after an appearance in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Joanne Gauci, 61, of Mayfield, who pleaded guilty to numerous counts of driving without a licence dating back to 2004, breach of bail, reckless driving, failing to appear and drug offences was also sentenced to 36 days’ jail.
The sentence was backdated by Magistrate Ken Stanton to July 16 when Gauci was taken into custody and she walked free from the court.
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Defence counsel Beri Kurdistan told Mr Stanton that Gauci lost her licence in Victoria in 1993.
Gauci was driving a borrowed Mazda along the Southern Outlet towards Launceston about 1.30am on November 18, 2005, when she veered into the right hand lane striking a black Mercedes Benz.
Police prosecutor Jarrod Lightfoot said the occupants of the Mercedes tried to get Gauci to pull over at traffic lights on the corner of Howick Street.
“She travelled through a red light and then two more red lights before they stopped and rang police,” he said.
After Gauci denied involvement police gave the Mercedes’ occupants a chance to identify the perpetrator via a photo board.
“The identified the defendant,” he said.
The court heard that Gauci failed to appear in court on several occasions and was also caught driving on four other occasions.
In 2006, she was intercepted driving and said she was going to her daughter’s place in Waverley to get medication.
I don’t see the need to add to the $8000 or $9000 of fines that Ms Gauci has already. I’ll waive the costs of the complaint.
Magistrate Ken Stanton
“She told police she had not had a licence since 1994,” he said.
Ms Kurdistan said the offences occurred at a markedly difficult time in Gauci’s life after she was evicted and lost all her possessions.
“She had no fixed place of address and was struggling with drug addiction,” she said.
Gauci, who was born in Victoria, moved back to Tasmania in 2017 and has debt of $8500
Mr Stanton said the 36 days Gauci had spent in custody was sufficient.
“It was a bad case of negligent driving and failing to stop and even when you were given the chance to pull over and provide details you continued to drive erratically over a significant distance,” he said.
“I don’t see the need to add to the $8000 or $9000 of fines that Ms Gauci has already. I’ll waive the costs of the complaint.”