Accused law graduate receives praise for grades in court
A BRISBANE law graduate caught in Kingaroy last December on a suspended driving charge escaped a conviction after mounting her own defence in Gayndah court.
A court heard that Hayley Nankivell, 22, had her licence suspended on December 14 due to an outstanding State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) debt and was intercepted by police in Kingaroy a week later.
Police prosecutor Louese McConnell told the Gayndah Magistrates Court that the accused claimed not to have known about the debt.
"When questioned, she said she did not know about the fine and had recently moved but did not notify the Queensland Department of Transport," she said.
Nankivell acknowledged and pleaded guilty to the charge before moving to defend herself before Magistrate Terry Duroux.
"This morning I was thinking about receiving a disqualification and to ask you to exercise your discretion to not record a conviction," she said.
Nankivell's admission to practise law had been pending following her recent graduation from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
Magistrate Duroux received the accused's admission papers and academic transcript upon request and remarked upon Nankivell's exceptional grades.
"You got a 7 for Torts! Fair effort," the Magistrate said.
"I have no doubt that recording a conviction might have an impact on your admission."
Magistrate Duroux gave some advice to the future lawyer.
"When you do become a lawyer, just be aware that these things happen," he said.
"This is a good experience for giving advice to clients in the future. Best of luck with all your aspirations."
Nankivell received a one-month suspension of her driver's licence and a $250 fine as a result of the charge.
No conviction was recorded.