Samantha Karen Bramham, 19, leaves Ipswich Courthouse after being sentenced to 12 months probation.
Samantha Karen Bramham, 19, leaves Ipswich Courthouse after being sentenced to 12 months probation. Claudia Baxter

Teen mum in 140kmh cop chase

A TEEN mother who led police on multiple high-speed car chases hit speeds of more than 140kmh while her baby was in the car.

In one of the pursuits Samantha Karen Bramham, 19, overtook a string of caravans on a double line along the Cunningham Hwy and almost had a head-on collision as she fled.

Ipswich Magistrates Court was told the learner driver sped off to avoid police catching her driving without the required supervisor.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Jo Colston said Bramham had her 12-month-old son in the car during the pursuits.

Bramham was already wanted for failing to stop for police on June 30 when they spotted her on the Cunningham Hwy on July 22.

Police gave chase, reaching speeds of more than 140kmh but abandoned the pursuit after she turned into Boonah-Fassifern Rd at Aratula.

Officers caught up with her on the same day after locating the white Holden Commodore station wagon at a farm at Aratula.

Sgt Colston said Bramham admitted to being the driver and that she knew police wanted her to stop.

"She said she deliberately sped away because she didn't want police to know the status of her licence," Sgt Colston said.

Then on August 5, police saw the same station wagon on the Cunningham Hwy and saw Bramham overtake another vehicle at speeds exceeding 140kph in a non-overtaking lane.

Again police attempted to pull her over but abandoned the chase at Mt Edwards due to the high speeds.

Bramham faced Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to stop, and one count each of speeding, driving as a learner unaccompanied, not displaying L-plates and contravening a police requirement or direction.

Magistrate Michael Quinn said Bramham's behaviour was "nothing short of disgraceful".

He said her dangerous driving continued over a lengthy period of time and he had given serious consideration to a prison sentence.

"The protection of the community is the greatest consideration here as far and you are concerned," Mr Quinn said.

"It is fortunate you're not standing there charged with causing death or harm to you or your child.

"It is by the grace of God that saved you from that outcome."

Mr Quinn said it might be Bramham's first appearance in court but it was a big one.

"You constituted a danger to other people of the community," he said.

"You were exceeding the speed limit on a number of occasions while you had a young child in the car.

"As I say, your conduct was disgraceful."

Defence lawyer Michael Kelly said his client was living at Aratula with her boyfriend at the time but he was no longer a part of her life.

Mr Kelly said Bramham had returned to live on the Gold Coast close to support networks.

"She has no criminal history and won't accept she had a child in the car on the third occasion," Mr Kelly said. He said probation would be an appropriate punishment to "afford her the opportunity for rehabilitation to address the issues in her life".

Bramham, a part-time stable hand, was sentenced to 12 months probation, disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined $750.

Mr Quinn took into consideration she was a young mother and her guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and no previous criminal history.

"You haven't had the benefit of probation before," he said.


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