Berkeley P-plater Jade Jolliffe jailed over drunken crash on Nannawilli St

A Berkeley p-plater who drunkenly drove into a house, leaving her passenger with amnesia, has been sentenced to three months jail.

Jade Jolliffe, 21, had downed four or five alcoholic drinks at Berkeley Sports and Social Club before she got behind the wheel of a white Holden Commodore in the early hours of November 17 last year. 

With a friend at her side – the car’s owner - she lost control of the car on a left-hand bend, sending the vehicle careering into a house on Nannawilli Street. 

The crash caused significant damage to the vehicle and the house, with police saying several people asleep inside the house were just metres away from being hit.

Bystanders helped Jolliffe out of the car before she walked away, leaving her male friend unconscious in the front passenger seat. 

He was taken by ambulance to Wollongong Hospital, where he spent three days in the intensive care unit with post-traumatic amnesia. 

Police found Jolliffe several hundred metres away, stumbling and slurring her words. She was arrested and later returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.153. Her license was suspended. 

Jolliffe pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving at a subsequent court appearance.

She was evaluated for suitability for two community-based sentences – home detention and an intensive corrections order – however failed both assessments, prompting Magistrate Susan McGowan to sentence Jolliffe to full-time jail in court on Tuesday.

She had earlier described Jolliffe’s driving that night as “such a spectacular deviation from the standard of driving required”.

A tearful Jolliffe immediately gave notice of her intention to appeal the sentence and applied for bail in the interim with her lawyer, Cate Doosey, arguing she had reasonable prospects of success on appeal. 

Magistrate McGowan agreed to bail but imposed several conditions on her release including daily reporting and a nighttime curfew.

The appeal will be heard in Wollongong District Court next month.