STUCK INTERSTATE: Jemma Marie Harrison has told a Gayndah Magistrate that coronavirus has prevented her from appearing in court on August 8. Picture: File
STUCK INTERSTATE: Jemma Marie Harrison has told a Gayndah Magistrate that coronavirus has prevented her from appearing in court on August 8. Picture: File

‘I'm not running away’: NSW woman’s explanation to court

AN ABBOTSFORD woman told Gayndah Magistrates Court she "wasn't running away" from her drink driving charge, despite being in another state.

Jemma Marie Harrison, 30, appeared in court by phone on August 7, charged with driving under the influence of liquor.

Harrison was arrested after she was intercepted in Eidsvold on the Burnett Hwy on March 11, where it was alleged she had a BAC over .150.

Magistrate Terry Duroux addressed Harrison, who represented herself, and said she needed to appear for this serious charge.

Harrison told the court she appreciated being heard over the phone, but was stuck in NSW near Abbotsford, and would not be appearing in person.

Mr Duroux acknowledged she wasn't there, and said he'd adjourn it to the next sitting on September 4.

Harrison then addressed the court, and tried to explain her predicament to Mr Duroux.

"I'm not running away from my mistakes," she said.

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"I take full responsibility for what I've done, and I'm very disappointed in myself."

Harrison then explained her upbringing and work history, saying she was thankful nobody was hurt by her actions.

Mr Duroux quickly interjected, explaining he wasn't taking a plea, and he required her appearance at some stage.

"I'll adjourn until September 4 at 9am, and I direct you must appear," he said.

"The border closure is a matter for you, and as I understand it's not until the wee hours of (Saturday August 8) that the state of Queensland is shutting shop."

"Where does that leave me?" she asked.

Mr Duroux explained it's up to Harrison to be guided by her own legal aid, which she doesn't have, saying she was facing a serious allegation.

He said she was welcome to appear again by phone, however she would be required to disclose her address if the border restrictions were still in place.

The matter was adjourned until September 5.


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