Getting groceries for kids doesn't save woman from conviction

Shae Sutcliffe appeared in the New Plymouth District Court because she drove while her licence was suspended.
Charlotte Curd/Fairfax NZ

Shae Sutcliffe appeared in the New Plymouth District Court because she drove while her licence was suspended.

She was caught driving while suspended, but Shae Sutcliffe told police she was only on the road because she needed to get food for her children.

In August Sutcliffe, who is on a learner's licence, was disqualified from driving for six months after she clocked up too many demerits points.

However, she was caught driving by Taranaki police in December, Police prosecutor Detective Sergeant Dave MacKenzie said.

"In defence she said she went to get groceries for her children," he said.

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Sutcliffe appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to one charge of driving while suspended.

Her lawyer Nathan Bourke stressed that Sutcliffe had no previous convictions and said she was going to look at upgrading from a learner's licence to a restricted licence.

"Sir I would simply ask that you take into account her early guilty plea, her lack of previous, and keep any fine moderate," Bourke said.

"She accepts there is a mandatory disqualification."

Judge Philip Crayton explained to Sutcliffe that she now had a conviction for driving while suspended.

"That is going to make life difficult for you going forward, when it comes to insurances and the like.

"Also, if you drive again while disqualified, you are going to start getting the court into a situation where judges have to look at other sentences, including prison.

"You don't want to have to go down that track."

Crayton fined Sutcliffe $250 and disqualified her from driving for six months.

"It may be inconvenient, but the reality is a suspension is for a reason, and also, perhaps you have become pretty slack in the way that you are approaching the restrictions on your licence.

"Again, that's going to cause you problems going forward."

 - Stuff

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