Mum avoids jail again
A MOTHER of six and grandmother of two cried throughout her Gympie court appearance yesterday as she faced the prospect of going back to jail for her third disqualified driving offence in three years.
The 39-year-old avoided more jail time, though she appeared in custody after serving a prison service for an earlier disqualified driving conviction.
The court heard Bridgette Toni Sandy, of Cooloola Cove, was "forced" to take over the driving of a car at the Matilda Service Station at Goomboorian on October 6, when her grandfather refused to drive because he thought he was having a stroke.
When she went into the service station to buy some food, her grandfather got out of the driver's seat and sat in the passenger's seat.
He had had a number of strokes and suffered from dementia.
Sandy said her grandfather had raised her and was like a father to her but was a "very difficult" person to deal with, which was why she had agreed to drive even though she knew she was disqualified.
After the car left the service station, Gympie police received a phone call telling them a disqualified driver was heading into Gympie.
They stopped the car on Cootharaba Rd.
After hearing the explanation an ambulance was called to check the grandfather's health but he was deemed fine, the court heard.
He was taken to hospital to be further examined.
Sandy said she suffered from anxiety and had experienced a series of family tragedies recently.
She said she needed to get home so she and her children could receive the proper grief counselling to deal with what had happened.
She was disqualified from driving for a further three years and given a six-month prison term, suspended for three years.