Joondalup Magistrates Court: woman avoids jail over being caught driving without licence 18th time

Joondalup Magistrate's Court.
Joondalup Magistrate's Court.

A WOMAN who was caught driving without a licence for the 18th time when she dangerously tried to evade police in Craigie has been spared an immediate jail term.

Lisa Jane McGrath (50) faced Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday after pleading guilty to dangerous driving to escape police and having no authority to drive.

The court heard McGrath had been caught driving without a licence 18 times since 2000.

Magistrate Deen Potter handed her a conditional 12-month suspended prison term and suspended her licence for a further 15 months.

She had not held a licence since 2014.

He took into account the mother’s traumatic circumstances, put forward by her duty lawyer, which included the death of her four-year-old child in 1999, domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction.

McGrath is currently the carer of two young children, which Mr Potter also considered.

“It’s a balancing act the court needs to take, particularly in circumstances such as yours,” he said.

“If there is further driving, you will go to jail.”

The police prosecutor pushed for an immediate jail term, saying McGrath “thumbs her nose” at licence suspensions.

He said it was “beyond a joke” that she had been caught 18 times in the past 18 years.

“When the court tells you you’re not allowed to drive, you just don’t get in the driver’s seat,” the prosecutor said.

He told the court McGrath sped away after spotting police when she was driving through Craigie about midnight on December 29.

He said she drove dangerously around corners and turned her lights off before stopping the car and admitting to officers she did not have a licence.