Mother of four changes car tyre before driving it unlawfully

A woman who took someone’s car without asking changed a flat tyre before driving off.

Melissa Jane Vickery, 36, pleaded guilty on March 4 in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said the car’s owner parked the Mazda 3 in the driveway of a Webster St, Gracemere, residence and left the keys in a pot plant “out of plain sight”.

He said the owner left in another vehicle.

Sgt Ongheen said Vickery walked into the front yard, retrieved the keys, unlocked the vehicle and changed a flat tyre before driving off.

He said the defendant drove the vehicle around the corner to a Pamela Court, Gracemere, residence.

Sgt Ongheen said a friend of the car’s owner was in the street and contacted the owner about someone else driving their car.

Police were then notified and attended Pamela Crt.

Sgt Ongheen said Vickery told police she went to visit a friend who no longer lived there.

Defence lawyer Rebecca Harris said Vickery’s mental health had deteriorated at the time of the incident.

She said the mother of four had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms, depression and anxiety.

Ms Harris said Vickery was experiencing delusions and hallucinations at the time of the offending.

She said Vickery’s medication had been changed two weeks prior to the incident and she had tried, with her mother’s help, to be admitted to the mental health ward on the Friday prior to the offence.

Magistrate Jason Schubert ordered Vickery to pay a $1000 fine and a conviction was recorded.



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