News

Dodgy driver gets good deal in court

By Riverine Herald

A SINGLE mother caught driving to and from work while her licence was disqualified has been fined $400.

Misty Chookoon, 23, avoided a conviction when she pleaded guilty in Echuca Magistrates Court on Tuesday to driving while disqualified.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mick Arnott said at 3.06pm on May 14, police followed Chookoon as she drove out of Echuca’s Simplot factory into Denmark St before stopping her on the Murray Valley Hwy.

Checks revealed her licence was cancelled for six months from January 31 due to a conviction for dangerous driving and failing to stop on police direction.

‘‘I’m just a single mother trying to get by,’’ she told police at the time.

Lawyer Greg Johnston said Chookoon did not drive dangerously, she just accepted the charge.

Mr Johnston said as well as losing her licence for six months, his client had breached her golden point option so she still had 44 days left before she could get her licence back.

On the day, Mr Johnston said Chookoon had a conflict with a work colleague, who called the police.

‘‘They were waiting for her,’’ he said.

‘‘Generally she gets a taxi or gets someone to take her to work but she couldn’t get anyone on this occasion.’’

He said the mother of a five-year-old had to work less since losing her licence because of the difficulties of getting to work, and therefore was earning less money.

Magistrate Michael King said when ordered off the road, people needed to obey.

‘‘I understand there are pressures to drive but prison can be an option and you risk further time off the road if you do it again and it will be for a lot longer,’’ he said.