Woman in police car chases gets four months jail

A HAMILTON district woman, 38, who was the subject of police vehicle chases has been jailed for four months.

Magistrate Peter Mellas jailed Susan Elizabeth Barnes, 38, formerly of Strathkellar near Hamilton, for several offences that included dangerous driving while being pursued by police and while being banned from driving.

Ms Barnes was also convicted of failing to stop on the request of police, dishonesty charges, possessing drugs, dealing with the proceeds of crime, breaching alcohol interlock conditions, breaching a corrections order, failing to answer bail conditions, failing to give information and use of fraudulent number plates.

Mr Mellas said Ms Barnes’ driving had put other people at risk.

He said a corrections order previously imposed on Ms Barnes had been breached and imposing another corrections order was not appropriate.

Mr Mellas said Ms Barnes’ situation had deteriorated rapidly in three years with her life becoming chaotic.

Xavier Farrelly, for Ms Barnes, said his client had abused substances and had tried to get off them using support services. 

However she had fallen “back into a hole” in the past few months, he said.

Mr Farrelly said Ms Barnes had two major relationships that had been characterised by family violence.

In another matter in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court, keen Koroit football club supporter John Bushell, 51, of Koroit, was fined $250 for wilful damage to a taxi windscreen in Warrnambool about 3am on August 14.

Mr Mellas found Mr Bushell guilty of the offence but did not impose a conviction.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Sandra Skilton said police had heard a loud crack and were told a male passenger in the taxi had punched the inside of the taxi’s windscreen and broken it.

Sergeant Skilton said Mr Bushell had been removed from the taxi in an intoxicated state.

Mr Bushell had admitted breaking the windscreen and later paid for the damage, she said. 

Alex McCulloch, for Mr Bushell, said his client had been drinking heavily before the offence and had been celebrating the milestone game of a Koroit football player.

Mr Bushell punched the windscreen in frustration at the misconceived welfare concerns by police about his female partner, Mr McCulloch said. 

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