Jail on the cards for Springdale Heights driver

HER licence had been suspended but single mother of three children, Veronica Robyn Whatman, was still driving when police caught her for a fifth time in July.

There had been four previous driving offences this year; one in January, two in May and one in June.

Magistrate Tony Murray asked Whatman what arrangements had been made for her children’s care if she was jailed when she appeared for sentencing on five counts of driving while suspended in Albury Local Court yesterday.

“Her mother has come up from Melbourne,” solicitor Andrea MacDonald said.

She said Whatman, 21, of Gardinia Street, Springdale Heights, suffers from bipolar disorder.

“My client is aware she is in peril,” Ms MacDonald said.

Mr Murray said a pre-sentence report stated Whatman was unsuitable for community service.

“It has probably moved beyond a community service disposition,” he said.

Mr Murray said the latest two offences had been committed while Whatman was on bail.

“The ongoing offences would normally warrant a custodial penalty,” he said.

“There has been a history of non-compliance with court orders.”

Mr Murray said he would adjourn sentencing for an updated mental health report and pre-sentence report.

“She should have steps in place on the next occasion should she be taken into custody,” Mr Murray said.

Whatman’s sentencing has been adjourned until September 16.

Her first suspended driving offence happened in Narrandera on January 3 this year and she was put on a bond for that matter.

Then Whatman’s lic-ence was suspended from April 21 until July 20.

But she was caught by police driving at Narrandera on May 19 and seven days later at Lavington.

Police charged her with driving when suspended and having a child aged under six months unrestrained in her car for the Lavington matter.

There was a further offence on June 29 in Albury and then on July 2.

The last matter was detected when police were patrolling Mate Street at North Albury and recognised Whatman.

They followed her to a service station where she was apprehended.

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