Drink-drive thief jailed

A MACLEAN woman who was caught twice in 10 days driving drunk behind the wheel of stolen cars was sentenced to 12 months jail at Maclean local court on Wednesday.

Tania Tedford faced 17 charges including high-range drink driving, mid-range drink-driving, receiving stolen property worth more than $15,000 and unlicensed driving.

The court heard Tedford had long-standing drug and alcohol problems and was the victim of physical, psychological and sexual abuse by her father which led her to become involved with drugs and alcohol at an early age.

On February 2 police spotted Tedford driving south along the Pacific Highway at Woodburn and ordered her to pull over for a random breath test.

Tedford failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated in which Tedford overtook four cars and a semi-trailer on the wrong side of the highway across unbroken centre lines.

Police facts tendered before the court said oncoming motorists had to pull off the road as Tedford flouted Skyes Law and failed to stop for police.

Ten days later Tedford stole a car while she was on bail and drunk, leading police on another pursuit before she was arrested and charged.

In sentencing Tedford, Magistrate David Heilpern took into account her early guilty pleas to the charges and applied a 25% reduction in penalty.

"In my view there is no doubt that the driving was extremely dangerous," Mr Heilpern said.

"In my view there is no differ- ence between this driving and driving past a crowded restaurant and firing a bullet. People who drive in this manner, particularly repeatedly, should not expect much sympathy from this court."

Tedford's defence solicitor Kate Biffen said her client had strong intentions to rehabilitate herself in the future.

But Mr Heilpern said he felt the offences were so serious only a custodial penalty should apply.

"In cases of this type rehabili- tation comes a very poor second compared to the interests of protecting the community."

Mr Heilpern sentenced Tedford to 12 months imprisonment on the charges of drive while disqualified, mid-range PCA, high-range PCA, receiving stolen property worth more than $15,000, with a non-parole period of nine months.

Tedford was also disqualified from driving for three years, to commence when her current disqualification ends.

She will be eligible for release on April 9, 2013.

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