Lesson not learnt: drug driver caught while on multiple good behaviour bonds

Orange courthouse

Orange courthouse

A woman who was sentenced in court on Monday for driving with methamphetamine in her system had been on multiple good behaviour bonds for drug-related offences at the time.

Cassandra Theresa Finch, who also goes by the surname Hall, was represented in court by solicitor Patrick Rudd who said his client had been a qualified chef but after seriously injuring her wrist developed an addiction to Oxycontin. 

He said the 44-year-old, of Coronation Drive, had served 14 months of her 18-month good behaviour bonds when she was caught driving with methamphetamine in her system on McNamara Street on December 18, 2016, for which she was disqualified from driving for six months and fined $600.

Mr Rudd said Finch’s record started in 2015, “which is quite rare for a woman who is [44-years-old].”

Along with her drug addiction, Mr Rudd said Finch had also been the victim of a violent home invasion last year.

“The fellow who broke into her house had a loaded pistol, which he hit her with and threatened her, was released,” Mr Rudd said.

“The home invasion has had a major influence on her depression and anxiety.”

Mr Rudd said along with her increased anxiety levels, his client also had a problem with the person she was dealing with in regard to the Magistrate Early Referral Into Treatment program.

During the sentencing, magistrate Alison Viney reprimanded Finch for not trying to overcome her drug addiction and said  Finch had breached her 18-month good behviour bonds before the 2016 driving offence.

Ms Viney said the breaches had occurred through non compliance with community corrections and not following recommended drug treatment plans.

“Your response to police was ‘I’ve just been partying’,” she said about Finch’s reply to police during her December arrest. 

Despite being dissatisfied with Finch’s lack of attendance with community corrections and failed drug tests Ms Viney, took no action on the breach of the good behaviour bonds from 2015.

“Clearly you don’t want to do anything about your drug issue,” Ms Viney said.

“We have other people who are interested in addressing issues and could benefit from those services. The bonds were for resisting police, and drug offences relating to methamphetamine, cannabis, heroin, cannabis and prescription drugs.”