Accident setback for taxi career

A TAXI driving career received a setback when 42 year old Karen Bessell was involved in a traffic accident on Throssell Street.

Collie Magistrate’s Court was last week told that Bessell had recently submitted an application for a taxi driving licence.

Prosecutor Sgt Barry Phelps said Bessell had been the driver of a vehicle which veered onto the wrong side of the road at about 9pm on May 11. The vehicle collided with oncoming traffic and Bessell was taken to hospital with a fractured ankle.

Bessell pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The defendant’s legal representative, Derek Hunter, said his client had been drinking with a friend and was responding to a phone call from her daughter at the time of the accident.

Mr Hunter said the defendant had been extremely concerned about her daughter, who had just been assaulted.

While driving, Bessell’s glasses had fallen to the floor, and it was likely that as she bent down to pick them up that she accidentally steered onto the wrong side of the road, Mr Hunter said.

He said the defendant’s application for a taxi driver’s licence would be rejected due to the accident.

Magistrate Liz Hamilton said sentencing the defendant to the minimum penalty was not appropriate, as this was her fifth drink-driving conviction.

Bessell was fined $1500 and disqualified from driving for 17 months on the drink-driving charge. She was fined a further $500 for dangerous driving with costs of $125.70.