Sydney King was happy to accept a jail sentence when she appeared in court this week to face drugs charges, but was left disappointed when the magistrate ordered she be assessed for drug and mental health issues.
She appeared in Wangaratta Magistrates Court this week to plead guilty to those charges and a series of police pursuits.
The court heard officers tried to stop King when she was driving on Malakoff Road in Beechworth on March 8, but she conducted a manoeuvre that involved driving in reverse for 450 metres so she could get away.
Police spotted her in Everton and followed as she sped away at 142km/h on Whitepost Road, then she was later spotted driving at 134km/h in a 100 zone on Beechworth-Wangaratta Road, but the officers did not attempt to intercept.
King has never held a driver’s licence and her learner’s permit had been previously disqualified.
Solicitor Mario Vaccaro said King had spent 62 days on remand and was coping well drug-free on the methadone program in custody.
“She has been homeless for a long time,” he said.
But he told magistrate David Faram she did not want to be placed on a community corrections order that would “set her up to fail”.
“How about setting her up to get well? That’s the real issue,” Mr Faram said.
“She needs to address this issue or there will be great consequences.”
King, who appeared via video link, told the court she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, anxiety and depression by a mental health professional in Melbourne 10 years ago, but had not sought treatment since.
Mr Faram said a “not insignificant” jail term was warranted for the crimes, but he planned to adjourn the case until November so a mental health and drug assessment could be conducted.
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