Tanya Smith narrowly avoided jail time yesterday after facing charges relating to five breaches of a suspended sentence.
Tanya Smith narrowly avoided jail time yesterday after facing charges relating to five breaches of a suspended sentence. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Serial offender avoids jail time

SERIAL drink-driver Tanya Marie Smith fronted court yesterday after accruing a shocking five criminal charges while on a suspended sentence for producing drugs.

Smith, 38, was the driver of one of two vehicles involved in a head-on crash on the New England Highway in June last year, in which 75-year-old Stanthorpe woman Grace Thompson was killed.

Yesterday’s proceedings – held in the Toowoomba Supreme Court – were unrelated to that incident and Smith has not been charged over the crash.

Despite having previously been marched out of court due to her inappropriate choice of clothing, Tanya Marie Smith fronted court yesterday in a conservative black long-sleeved top and pants.

Smith was sent home to change her clothes after fronting Stanthorpe Magistrates Court in February and after earlier posting on Facebook her plans to dress in skinny jeans and a “cleavage shirt” in an apparent attempt to get kicked out of court.

In court yesterday it was revealed police conducted a brief search on Smith’s home near Stanthorpe in May 2007, where they located a number of items used to produce methylamphetamine hidden in the roof cavity.

She fronted court the following year charged with producing and possessing a dangerous drug and was sentenced to 12 months jail – wholly suspended for two years.

After 19 months of not committing any further offences, Smith reverted to her criminal ways, committing five offences over three months.

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard an attempt to evade police was the beginning of Smith’s return to crime, when she led police on a vehicle pursuit at Stanthorpe that officers ultimately abandoned.

Smith was observed by police to be driving erratically and up to speeds of around 120kmh.

When questioned Smith denied being the driver and said she had gone to sleep with the keys in the ignition and awoke to find her car “back” in the driveway.

Smith’s defence counsel yesterday acknowledged herc client’s problem with alcohol, evident by her accumulation of three drink-driving charges in three months.

In April Smith was intercepted by police with a BAC of 0.110 and in June Smith racked up two charges with one reading of 0.126 and another of 0.137.

The final breach related to an incident on June 11 when Smith drove into a Stanthorpe park, destroying a number of pine logs and earning herself a wilful damage charge.

Smith yesterday had her 12-month suspended reinstated but she was immediately paroled.



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