Woman accused of using dead Sea World pilot’s data to escape traffic ticket harassed out of court: ‘Shameful’
- Woman harassed outside court
- Stephanie Louise Bennett labeled ‘shameful’
The woman who allegedly used the identity of a pilot killed in the Sea World helicopter tragedy to evade a traffic fine has been charged out of court.
Stephanie Louise Bennett, 33, indicated Wednesday that she wanted to plead guilty to one count of fraud and one count of obtaining or dealing with another person’s identity.
She was accused of falsely identifying the late Sea World pilot Ash Jenkinson as the driver of her car when she received a breach notice on Jan. 9.
Woman who allegedly used the identity of a pilot killed in the Sea World helicopter tragedy to evade a traffic fine has been charged out of court
She was accused of falsely designating the late Sea World pilot Ash Jenkinson as the driver of her car when she received a notice of infringement on Jan. 9.
Ms Bennett admitted to nominating the dead pilot and will return to court on May 19 to face sentencing.
Bennett disguised her identity with a scarf, but was still taunted as she left the courthouse.
“You are disgusting, show your face. Why didn’t you just take the fine? You should be ashamed of yourself,” shouted bystanders.
Bennett previously told the court she was going through “personal affairs” and “financial problems” at the time and had tried to reverse the allegedly fraudulent nomination the next day.
The court heard that Bennett had tried to plead guilty after she sent an apologetic email.
“I didn’t know the person I nominated, I found his information through the obituary,” Bennett wrote.
“The next day I remembered what I had done and tried to undo it by nominating myself, but the website wouldn’t accept it.”
Magistrate Terry Duroux rejected an immediate move to a sentence and adjourned the case to May 19.
“The court does not operate in a vacuum,” Magistrate Duroux said.
The wreckage of two helicopters is seen after a collision near Sea World, on the Gold Coast, in January
“I know very well why we are here. I inform you – I believe there are authorities to whom I should be referred.’
Magistrate Duroux said he did not believe the 15 minutes allotted for a plea hearing on Wednesday were sufficient.
“I think this is a long plea and not appropriate for this court. Two counts of fraud have been filed with the court and the maximum sentence I believe is around five years.”