Home detention for pregnancy hoax

Last updated 14:05 04/04/2012

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A woman who pretended to be in labour twice on the same day after she was caught speeding and driving while disqualified was yesterday sentenced to home detention when she appeared in Invercargill District Court.

Judith Anne Holland, 23, appeared before Judge Michael Turner on two charges of driving while disqualified and intentionally obstructing police on January 11.

She was sentenced to five months' home detention and 275 hours' community work.

A disqualification was not imposed because Judge Turner was concerned she would drive while on sentence.

The police summary of facts says Holland was stopped about 12.10pm after her speed was checked at 118kmh in a 100kmh area at Limehills.

She told police she was in labour and was on a learner's licence on her way to the maternity ward at Winton, it says.

Police did not verify her licence status at the time so as to not cause unnecessary delay but a short time later they found she was disqualified, the summary says.

Inquiries at the maternity hospital in Winton found she had not gone there and she had not contacted the Southland Hospital maternity ward nor her midwife.

The midwife had finished with Holland two and a half months earlier when she had her last child, the summary says.

At 12.45pm she was stopped by another patrol car and again played the role of a pregnant woman in labour, it says.

She was arrested and taken to Southland Hospital emergency department.

At the hospital it was discovered she was not pregnant, the summary says.

She wasted about two and a half hours of police time and later admitted pretending to be in labour was a stupid thing to do, it says.

Holland's lawyer, Heather Collins, said Holland had been under stress at the time of the offending and had panicked when police had approached.

Judge Turner said while she would not be sent to prison, it had been a close call.

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- The Southland Times

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