ACT News


Police chase ends in woman's driveway, and then court

A PREGNANT mother of six who led police on a car chase to her own Canberra driveway in the early hours of Saturday morning has been granted bail.

Julie May O'Connell pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, not stopping her car for police, dangerous driving, driving an unregistered vehicle and driving an uninsured car.

Police alleged she drove through three red lights after refusing to pull over on Limestone Avenue.

Police also said she drove at 115 kilometres an hour on Kings Avenue, which is a 60kmh zone.

Eventually police were led to Robertson Street in Curtin where it was alleged O'Connell tried to swap seats with a passenger.

In arguing for bail, legal aid defence told the ACT Magistrates Court that O'Connell understood the mistakes she had made and that she had six children - three of them in her care who are aged younger than 10 and another three in foster care - as well as a seventh on the way.


While bail was eventually granted, Magistrate Lorraine Walker rejected this specific argument. ''Seventh time around - that's not a very persuasive argument,'' said the magistrate, who noted O'Connell had failed to appear in court on numerous previous occasions.

O'Connell was granted bail after potential mental health concerns and learning difficulties were taken into account.

The white Hyundai Excel O'Connell was driving at the time was being sent to the wreckers, a fact confirmed, according to the defence lawyer, by O'Connell's partner.

O'Connell will appear in court in relation to the driving charges on February 27. She will appear in court on December 18 in relation to a separate theft charge against her, for which she was yet to enter a plea.