Woman caught driving without a licence for ninth time

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A Berkeley woman will remain behind bars after she was caught driving without a licence for the ninth time in her driving career.

Belinda Lee Galvin, 35, had already racked up two unlicenced driving charges and five disqualified driving charges when she failed to show up at court on July 30 this year to face her sixth disqualified driving charge.

She was convicted in her absence and a warrant issued for her arrest.

Just a week later, on August 7, Galvin was picked up on the outstanding warrant – after police caught her again behind the wheel illegally.

In Port Kembla Local Court on Friday, Galvin said she would not challenge the conviction for the earlier charge, and pleaded guilty to the August 7 offence.

The court heard Galvin had poor excuses behind her reasons for driving, including once when she and a friend ran out of cigarettes.

Galvin sought release on bail, with her lawyer asking Magistrate Michael Stoddart to consider that there had been a gap in her offending between 2009 and now.

However, Mr Stoddart refused to release Galvin, saying given her long criminal record the court could have no confidence she would not commit further crimes if released into the community.

‘‘These [recent] matters are of real concern when you look at her record,’’ Mr Stoddart said.

He also ruled there was an unacceptable risk that Galvin would not appear at court in the future.

The case will return to court for sentencing next Friday.