A Cringila bartender and part-time fitness instructor who spent three months in custody on drug and dishonesty charges has walked free from jail after securing two favourable court outcomes in less than a week.
Louise Kierce fronted Wollongong District Court last Friday where she successfully appealed the length of the jail sentence handed to her in the Local Court in September for lying when filling out a form for a NSW driver's licence in March last year.
Judge Andrew Haesler agreed to reduce Kierce's original non-parole period of five months to the three months she had already spent in custody, without bail.
Meanwhile, Kierce's winning streak continued on Tuesday when she was spared further jail time on drug charges stemming from an incident on July when she was found with 88 grams of meth inside a designer handbag during a vehicle stop in Warilla.
After hearing submissions from Kierce's lawyer, Magistrate Claire Girotto agreed to impose a community-based intensive corrections order of 12 months in lieu of full-time jail.
An agreed set of police facts tendered in court on Tuesday said officers attached to Lake Illawarra target action group were patrolling Warilla when they saw a silver Toyota Corolla travelling at speed along King Street and pulled it over.
After establishing Kierce's identity and discovering police intelligence reports linking her to a current drug investigation, officers searched the car, Kierce, then her handbag.
The facts said police felt a "bulge" in the lining of bag, which was revealed to be three resealable bags containing 88g of methamphetamine.
She later admitted to having attended a house in Mt Warrigal and met with a man named "Gremlin" who had concealed the drugs in her bag to deliver to a man she knew as "Ishmal".
Court documents said Kierce used a Queensland licence obtained under her married name of Dos Santos to apply for and receive a NSW licence at Warrawong in March 2019, despite the fact she knew she was banned from driving in NSW until May this year.
The court heard Kierce was required to fill out a form during the application process, in which she was asked whether she'd ever held a licence in another name, been disqualified from driving in NSW or had a current licence disqualification against her name.
Kierce ticked the "no" box to both questions, despite knowing it was a lie.
Kierce claimed she made a "mistake" but that excuse was rejected at sentencing.