Reprieve for grandmother

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 10/09/2012

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A courtroom reprieve for a Bell Block woman caring for an ill grandson has allowed her to keep her driver's licence - for the meantime.

On Friday, in New Plymouth District Court, Danalee Marie Aldridge, 45, was to defend a charge of careless driving causing injury to a scooter rider in Parklands Ave on April 5.

But Aldridge, who said she did not see the scooter, decided to change her plea to guilty.

When asked by Judge David McKegg if she had a defence lawyer, she replied from the dock she did not after twice being declined legal aid.

Prosecuting Sergeant Lewis Sutton said the conviction carried a mandatory driving disqualification. He suggested a sentencing postponement because of Aldridge's family health crises.

To the judge, Aldridge said she had the fulltime custody of her baby grandson who was undergoing a series of operations for a neck infection. Her sister was also ill and needed transport. No-one else in the family was available to drive.

Judge McKegg adjourned sentencing for six weeks until October 17 to allow time for the operations. "I hope it all goes well," he said.

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