Single mum sentenced after lying about having a still birth
A WONDUNNA mum who lied about having a stillborn baby as an excuse for missing court will not face jail time.
Ashleigh Suzanne Rowley came under fire from the judge in Hervey Bay District Court this morning for bringing her two young children to court.
Judge Michael Rackemann said he wasn't impressed by the children's attendance and warned the 30-year-old that it would not change the outcome of her case.
The brother and sister sat quietly in the gallery for more than an hour as their mother was sentenced in the dock.
Rowley was charged with trying to pervert the course of justice after she produced a fake medical certificate in hopes of getting a failure to appear charge dismissed.
Rowley failed to attend her court date on November 4 last year.
On November 15 she surrendered to the Hervey Bay Police Station and gave an officer the doctor's certificate that said she had a still birth the day she was meant to be in court.
Later that day in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court the certificate was tender by prosecution but its authenticity was questioned.
The case was stood down overnight to allow police to investigate.
The following day, Rowley admitted it was fake and she was sentenced for the outstanding charges including two counts of fraud, four counts of failing to appear in court and driving while disqualified.
For those charges she received a head sentence of seven months imprisonment.
She was disqualified from driving for two years and three months and ordered to pay restitution for the fraud offences.
In a letter to the judge, Rowley explained she had lied out of panic of being taken away from her children.
While considering his sentence, Judge Rackemann said dishonesty was a hard thing to purge out of someone.
He said while the offence was carried out in an unsophisticated way, it was a deliberate and premeditated action to escape punishment.
The single mum was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for three years.