Charne Margaret Ryan fined after driving vehicle into a parked car after verbal altercation in Bridgetown

Melissa PedeltyManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Charne Margaret Ryan was sentenced in Manjimup Magistrates Court.
Camera IconCharne Margaret Ryan was sentenced in Manjimup Magistrates Court. Credit: Ben Loughran/Manjimup Bridgetown Times

A South West woman has been fined after she drove her vehicle into the parked car of a person she had just been in a verbal altercation with, but claimed it was an accident because it had “accelerated faster than usual”.

Charne Margaret Ryan failed to appear in Manjimup Magistrates Court on Thursday, but was convicted in her absence in relation to the incident earlier this year.

Ryan drove her Citroen sedan into a parked vehicle in a Bridgetown carpark after getting into a verbal altercation with the vehicle’s owner at 5.40pm on August 22.

The court heard that Ryan drove the car into the Bridgetown carpark and pulled into a bay before getting into the altercation with the owner of a parked vehicle.

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She then got back into her car, drove forward out of the bay, turned around and drove straight into the victim’s parked vehicle, before reversing and driving out of the carpark without getting out of the vehicle.

The court was told that before the incident, Ryan’s child had allegedly assaulted a person near the victim’s parked car.

There were a number of people around the victim’s car at the time, including four teenagers.

Ryan told police after the incident that she hit the victim’s car because it accelerated faster than usual.

Magistrate Joanne Andretich said Ryan’s explanations were “relevant to reckless driving but were not an excuse for dangerous driving”.

Ryan emailed the court the day before she was set to appear requesting an adjournment for the trial citing that she couldn’t get to court because she was now located in Bunbury and did not have time to seek legal advice due to her move.

Sgt Troy Gildersleeve said he would not support an adjournment for the trial as five witnesses from Bridgetown had already made the journey to Manjimup to present evidence and he had a “very strong case” against her.

“I simply don’t see a defence to her case anyway,” he said.

The trial was listed in September and had not been adjourned previously.

Ms Andretich accepted Sgt Gildersleeve’s case and handed Ryan a $1500 fine for dangerous driving and $264 in court costs after noting the severity of the incident, the fact there were juveniles present and the deliberate nature of her actions.

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