Wilsonton Nine victim’s daughter facing jail time for Chinchilla crime
WITNESSING her mother's horrific death, and her subsequent actions, has led to Claudia Joyce Combarngo fronting court on multiple occasions - but her last offence might be the final straw which puts her behind bars.
Combarngo's mother was killed inside a Toowoomba unit in May 2018, which resulted in a group of people known to the women, known as The Wilsonton Nine, being charged in relation to her death.
A mother herself, Combarngo faced Chinchilla Magistrate Court on Thursday, November 12, and pleaded guilty to the following charges during a part heard sentence; driving without a licence disqualified by a court order, failing to comply with duties of driving involved in a crash, and keeping a safe distance behind vehicles.
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana told the court Combarngo was alleged to have been driving without a licence when she was involved in an accident after following a Subaru too closely along Middle St in Chinchilla.
Senior constable Tahana said when Combarngo and her passenger failed to stop, the victim and another road user began to chase Combarngo to get her registration details, which resulted in a verbal altercation along Chinchilla Tara Rd.
When police officers spoke to Combarngo about the altercation later that day, senior constable Tahana told the court she told police her dog was dying and she needed to get to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The courtroom came to a grinding halt when magistrate Tracy Mossop learned Combarngo could be sentenced to prison for driving while disqualified, as she was serving parole for dangerous driving - surprising the young mother and her defence lawyer Michael Corbin.
"She is in jeopardy of going to jail," Magistrate Mossop exclaimed.
Mr Corbin made the submission it wasn't "necessarily the case," that the young mother would be facing jail time.
Magistrate Mossop responded, "you might submit whatever you like, but the reality is when someone commits a disqualified driving offence while on parole for a dangerous operation - the starting point is custody… this is a lengthy plea of guilty to consider whether (she) should in fact be serving actual time."
"I need to hear full and proper submissions in relation to this.
"It will be adjourned, only because senior constable Tahana doesn't have police here (for) custody and she has been caught by surprise, because most people would have realised that that puts Mr Combarngo at jeopardy regardless of what your submissions are."
After two Chinchilla police officers were called into the courtroom to potentially place Combarngo under arrest, Magistrate Mossop put an end to the partly heard hearing, to be heard for sentencing on Wednesday, November 25.
Magistrate Mossop told Combarngo that the adjournment doesn't mean she will be going to jail, and it doesn't mean that she will be walking free either.
In November 2019, Magistrate Mossop had sentenced Combarngo to 12 months imprisonment with immediate parole, and disqualified her from driving for 2 years and 7 months - for the following offences; three counts of unlawful use of vehicle, four counts stealing, two counts of driving without licence while suspended, entering a dwelling to commit indictable offence, dangerous operation of vehicle, and breach of bail.