Woman behind bars after near tragedy at school
A 47-YEAR-OLD Proserpine woman who crashed her car outside the local primary school after she’d been drinking, will have the next two months behind bars to reflect about the fact that someone could have been seriously hurt or killed.
Heather Jane Foley-Lewis was in tears throughout much of Monday’s appearance at the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court where the circumstances of this and other offences of failing to provide specimens of breath and blood, assaulting a police officer and breaching bail were heard.
At 3pm on December 8, just after school had finished for the day, Foley Lewis reversed her car at speed out of her driveway in front of the school.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said she accelerated heavily, travelling to the opposite side of the road and crashing into a parked black Suburu, which in turn crashed into another car.
Ms Smith said Foley-Lewis left the scene on foot and went back to her house where she was found by police.
Police asked her to provide a breath specimen but she refused.
Ms Smith said during her arrest, FoleyLewis slapped a police officer in the process of taking her to the hospital where she also refused to give blood.
The court heard she was eventually released on bail with conditions about not consuming alcohol attached.
These were breached twice with the second breach involving an alcohol reading of 0.303.
Ms Smith said while Foley-Lewis had no criminal history, she did have a history of drink-driving and “concerningly then her readings have increased”.
She also pointed to the fact this latest driving episode took place in a street where children were coming out of school.
Defence solicitor John Wilson tendered a number of references as well as medical material and penalties from comparative cases.
Foley-Lewis was sobbing audibly as she told the court she had decided to move her car but for some reason it lurched and she had no idea what happened next.
“It may be the case she’s attempted to put her foot on the brake and put her foot on the accelerator instead,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson submitted Foley-Lewis had been self-medicating with alcohol for a number of issues which, while not an excuse, gave some context to her actions.
Magistrate Ron Muirhead said FoleyLewis had put school children at risk and could have been facing a far more serious charge.
“[And] you’re not a young person – you’re 47 years of age and certainly of an age where you should have known better,” he said.
Foley-Lewis was sentenced to a total of nine months imprisonment with a parole release date of May 22, 2015. She was also disqualified from driving for three years.