A Western Sydney woman charged with driving while suspended after she was stopped by police three times travelling across the region, was convicted in her absence when she failed to appear in Mudgee Local Court.
Salia Elisapeta Hafoka, of Gumnut Place, Macquarie Fields - who had also been charged with possessing a prohibited drug - was fined a total of $550 and disqualified for one month.
At about 8.30am on Saturday, October 5, 2019, the 29-year-old was stopped for random breath and drug testing on the Castlereagh Highway at Marrangaroo.
A check of her licence revealed that it had been suspended since September 5, due to fine default. She claimed to be unaware of this and was issued with Licence Suspension Advice.
Officers put a message over the police radio to look out for the vehicle. Then at about 9.40am she was stopped at Round Swamp near the Camerons Road intersection.
Hafoka was stopped on the Castlereagh Highway for a third time - at Galambine, between Mudgee and Gulgong - at about 11am. When questioned about the earlier occasions, she said to police, "I got stopped and told my licence was disqualified - I mean suspended - I didn't even know and I was told I'd be arrested if I drove again".
She was arrested and taken to Mudgee Police Station, where she was searched and found to be in possession of 0.4g of methamphetamine, which was located in a mint tin in her handbag.
Hafoka told officers that she was driving to Wellington and didn't want to leave the car - that she said belonged to her sister - unoccupied by the side of the road.
The incident occurred during a high-visibility traffic operation by police across the three days of the October long weekend.