A Sydney P-plater’s ploy to have someone else take the fall for her speeding fine ‘strikes at the heart’ of the justice system, a magistrate has said while delivering the driver a $7000 fine.
Casey Best, 30, was convicted and fined in Downing Centre Local Court this week after she failed to slow for roadworks in the Cross City Tunnel in September 2019.
Facing another licence suspension, the Hornsby woman paid a Brazilian woman $300 to take all five demerit points.
‘I usually charged 100 per point,’ the 26-year-old texted Best as they negotiated the deal.
The younger woman, in Australia on a bridging visa, had an international licence and therefore was not subject to the effect of the NSW licensing and demerit point scheme, court documents show.
Attempts to hand over cash in person fell through, prompting Best to wire the demerit point fee through a third person’s account.
Best then paid the $920 speeding fine for going 35km/h over the 40km/h limit in the Brazilian woman’s name.
But the plan came unstuck when police seized the Brazilian woman’s phone on unrelated matters and found the deal being discussed on Whatsapp.
Best pleaded guilty on Monday and, through her lawyer, expressed remorse for the offence.
Magistrate Susan McIntyre decided against issuing the maximum fine of $11,000.
But she warned those defrauding government agencies could face lengthy jail sentences as the offence ‘strikes at the heart of the system’.
‘There is a strong element of general deterrence,’ she said.