News

Speed fiend told jail the only option

By Riverine Herald

A MAGISTRATE has warned an Echuca mother — who went on a high speed joy-ride while being chased by police through the streets of Echuca — that she now finds herself in a position of ‘‘significant jeopardy’’ after being charged with even more driving offences.

The court was told that Stephanie Cook, 26, was arrested in the Big W carpark on June 29 by a Bendigo strike team who charged her with evading police, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified offences.

At the time, she had been given a chance to clean up her act by magistrate Megan Aumair after pleading guilty in May to a range of traffic offences including evading police, dangerous driving and driving an unregistered car.

Those offences related to an incident in Echuca on October 21 last year where Cook and a co-accused reached speeds of 160km/h in a 60 zone on High St and sped away from police in Anstruther St and Pakenham St.

When the pair reached 150km/h along Ogilvie Ave, police said they had to stop the pursuit due to the dangerous speeds.

The court also heard Cook was caught driving while disqualified on July 31, 2017.

With defence lawyer Kate Freshwater asking the Magistrate ‘‘not to discount’’ rehabilitation in Cook’s case, Ms Aumair deferred her sentencing until Tuesday so she could receive a forensic psychological examination.

Ms Aumair said at the time ‘‘the only option is to put you back in jail’’ but said rather than taking that serious step she wanted ‘‘to know you a little better before that happens’’.

At Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Ms Freshwater requested an adjournment so she could case conference the new matters.

Ms Aumair adjourned the next hearing to August 15.

‘‘You’ve had another allegation since the last occasion which places you in significant jeopardy if you weren’t already,’’ she said.

‘‘But I’ll give Ms Freshwater an opportunity to resolve these matters.’’

■IN ANOTHER CASE A MOTHER who breached her CCO by driving while disqualified twice has been given another order.

Kyabram’s Brittany Mulcahy appeared in Echuca Magistrates Court on Wednesday to plead guilty to the breach and two counts of drive while disqualified.

Magistrate John Bentley varied her current community corrections order to go for 24 months, or for 12 months from today.

‘‘She has really lost her right to drive hasn’t she — young children or not,’’ he said.

‘‘You are currently on a CCO and I am going to vary it to go for 12 months from today and include 50 hours of community work and judicial monitoring.’’

Sentencing on the drive disqualified charges were deferred to October 24.