A WOMAN who believed she was dying from cancer when she committed a series of crimes has been fined in court but avoided serving a breached suspended jail sentence.
Melissa Stuy, also known as Dentith, 39, of Woolsthorpe-Heywood Road, Broadwater, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to a range of charges.
Those charges included obtaining property by deception, driving while disqualified, driving an unregistered car, refusing a breath test and breaching a previously suspended jail sentence.
Police said that during 2013 Stuy broke down on Koroit's Commercial Road near a mechanic's workshop.
She got a battery and fuel to get her going and was heading to an ATM 50 metres away to get cash but drove off.
At the time she was a disqualified driver after receiving a ticket for drink driving and her vehicle's registration was suspended.
On November 16 that year Stuy was intercepted by a police officer at Carpendeit.
A preliminary breath test was positive but she refused to accompany the officer for an evidentiary test, saying she had five brain tumors and not long to live.
Stuy received a suspended jail sentence in August 2013 so the drink driving-related charge breached that sentence.
Defence counsel Jack Rabl said that his client was hospitalised in 2013 and told she was terminally ill with cancer.
He said she had survived the cancer, got over her alcoholism, had a child and set up a business breeding birds.
"She's pretty remarkably self-rehabilitated," he said, explaining Stuy had not driven for the past four years.
Magistrate Peter Mellas said Stuy had overcome significant health issues, at the time of the offending did not have much hope but she had turned her life around.
He found there were exceptional circumstances which allowed Stuy to avoid serving the breached suspended jail sentence.
Stuy was convicted and fined $750 with $120 costs and her driver's licence was cancelled for four years, backdated to December 11, 2013.