Mum wrongfully accused of using phone while driving

A SCARNESS mother wrongfully accused of using a phone while driving successfully proved her innocence in a self-represented trial.

Frances Houlua Saliba walked out of Hervey Bay Magistrate on Monday with her demerit points intact after Magistrate Stephen Guttridge deemed her not guilty of committing one of the Fatal Five.

Despite two experienced police officers claiming they clearly saw Ms Saliba holding a phone to an ear while driving, Mr Guttridge said he believed "they could have been mistaken" after hearing Ms Saliba's version of events.

The court heard Ms Saliba was driving home along Boundary Rd on September 28 last year when police officers pulled her over.

A video captured by one of the police officer's body cameras, played in court, showed Ms Saliba looking surprised when the allegation arose and she continually denied to having used the phone.

She showed her recent call list to the officers in an attempt to prove she had not been using it.

But an officer suggested she could have used the phone to listen to voice messages or music.

Ms Saliba, 43, told the court prior to being intercepted about 4.10pm, she was playing a game called 'spotto' with her four-year-old child, in which one tries to spot different coloured cars.

She thought the cop car was stopping her for a random check.

Both the officers, who have many years of experience between them, took to the witness stand at the trial and said they saw light shine straight into Ms Saliba's car revealing the gold-framed phone.


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